Australian Embassy

Media release - 24 August 2017

Australian Minister Reaffirms Defence Ties With Vietnam

Senator the Hon Marise Payne MP, Australia’s Minister for Defence, is paying her first official visit to Vietnam from 24-25 August 2017 in order to strengthen Australia’s defence relationship with Vietnam.

Minister Payne is visiting Vietnam as part of a broader regional visit to South-East Asia – including Singapore, Thailand and Laos - to enhance military ties and cooperation.

“The Defence Minister’s visit provides an opportunity to strengthen Australia’s security partnership with Vietnam. Our defence relationship is long-standing and provides practical support for our countries’ mutually beneficial contribution to regional prosperity and security”, said Australian Ambassador Mr Craig Chittick.

In her courtesy call with Prime Minister H.E Nguyen Xuan Phuc this afternoon, Minister Payne reiterated Australia’s commitment to working with Vietnam and other regional partners to promote regional peace and security. Minister Payne highlighted Australia’s commitment to resolving disputes in a peaceful manner, consistent with each countries’ rights under international law. Minister Payne welcomed Vietnam’s important role in promoting regional prosperity and security, including its support for annual meetings of the ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting Plus, which includes both Vietnam and Australia as members.

Minister Payne was received by a guard of honor at the Ministry of National Defence and held a bilateral dialogue with General Ngo Xuan Lich, Minister for National Defence. The two sides discussed opportunities to expand bilateral defence ties.  Australia welcomed Vietnam’s contribution to global security through its preparations to deploy a contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission in early 2018.

On Friday 26 August, the Minister will visit Unit 871 and meet with Vietnamese People’s Army students who are studying English language under the Australia – Vietnam Defence Cooperation program and staff members of Vietnam Peacekeeping Center. She will then visit Special Forces Brigade 113 where she will observe a demonstration of their counter-terrorism capabilities.

The Australia Vietnam Defence cooperation relationship commenced in 1998 and includes bilateral dialogues at strategic levels and practical cooperation activities. Vietnam and Australia also work together on regional and multilateral architecture including ASEAN, ADMM+, ARF, and EAS.

Practical cooperation between Australia and Vietnam focuses on a wide range of defence areas including English language training, university and military specialist training, counter-terrorism, aviation safety, maritime security and information analysis. Over the past 19 years, the Australian Defence Force has trained over 2,000 Vietnam People’s Army officers both in Vietnam and Australia.