Vietnam, US hold defense dialogue

The fourth defence policy dialogue between Vietnam and the US at the deputy ministerial level was held in Washington on October 28-29. 
The discussion was co-chaired by Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Vikram Singh. 
Speaking after the function, Deputy Minister Vinh said the talks were a success, meeting the demands of each country and benefitting the interests of the region. 
During the dialogue, Singh reassured that despite difficulties in the budget, the commitments made by the US in the Asia-Pacific remain unchanged. 
He added that his country will continue fostering ties with its new allies and partners, including Vietnam . 
The two sides reviewed the outcomes of their previous dialogue in December last year in Hanoi . The US side appreciated the support of the Vietnamese Government in searching for the remains of US soldiers listed as missing in action during the war in Vietnam , considering this as a typical humanitarian cooperation. 
During the talks, Vinh handed over four files indicating the positions of new areas the US wishes to be searched for remains in the future. 
Meanwhile, the US side pledged to increase its support to Vietnam in a number of areas, including Agent Orange/Dioxin detoxification and handling unexploded bombs and mines. The country also committed to providing information to Vietnam about the locations of Vietnamese soldiers missing from the war. 
The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in disaster relief by sharing their experiences, with the US set to aid Vietnam to build its capacity in this area. 
A memorandum of understanding was also reached between the Maritime Police of Vietnam and the US Coast Guard force. 
During the dialogue, the two sides also discussed the regional security situation and matters of mutual concern, including maritime freedom, safety and security and potential risks threatening peace and stability in the region. 
They shared the same view that all sea territorial disputes among East and Southeast Asian states must be resolved by peaceful measures through negotiations on the basis of respect to the international law. They expressed hope that China and ASEAN member countries will reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea soon. 
They reached consensus on increasing cooperation in training through strengthening partnerships between defence academies and institutes. Cooperation between special forces such as the navy will be stepped up with more exchange voyages. 
US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel is expected to visit Vietnam in 2014 and plans to invite defence ministers of ASEAN member countries to a meeting in the US in April next year, Singh revealed, adding that it is hoped the Vietnamese defence minister can attend the important meeting. 
Regarding defence cooperation between the two countries as part of a wider multilateral framework, US representatives said they highly valued the role Vietnam plays at international and regional forums, expressing desire to further their work with Vietnam and other ASEAN nations to build trust for the mutual benefit of all parties. 
The US also lauded Vietnam ’s announcement that it will officially take part in United Nations’ peace-keeping operations, promising that it will offer assistance to Vietnam in the work. 
During their stay, the Vietnamese delegation visited a number of naval bases and the Coast Guard Force of the US.-VNA