President’s Hall, Malacañan Palace
27 August 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III received Vietnamese Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh in a courtesy call at Malacanan Palace.

Minister Thanh is in Manila for a three-day visit from August 25-27, 2013 upon the invitation of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The two held their bilateral talks where they “assessed the joint activities of the two defense and military establishments, and explored other cooperative initiatives to include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation given both countries’ experience on natural disasters,” according to a statement by Philippine Defense Spokesman Peter Paul Galvez.

Galvez added that both defense ministers also exchanged views on recent security issues of mutual concern, particularly on the situation in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and the U.S. policy of re-balancing in the Asia-Pacific.

“Since the signing of the defense cooperation agreement between the Philippines and Vietnam in 2010, defense relations between the two countries have progressed through high-level visits, personnel exchanges and information-sharing. These exchanges fostered government-to-government links as well as people-to-people ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” the Department of National Defense also stated.

President Aquino was joined by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano of the Philippine Navy.

On the Vietnam side, Minister Thanh was accompanied by Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu and Major General Vu Chen Thang, Chief International Relation Department.

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