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Tit for Tat : Def. Minister Rajnath Singh to visit Vietnam, will talk about BrahMos missile sale, to send a strong message to Beijing

Source : The Economic Times

Tit for Tat : Def. Minister Rajnath Singh to visit Vietnam, will talk about BrahMos missile sale, to send a strong message to Beijing
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in interaction with his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich on November 2020 | Twitter | @Rajnathsingh



Defence minister Rajnath Singh will likely visit Vietnam in the second week of January to celebrate the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic ties between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City. Defence exports and joint collaboration including training and maintenance of defence equipment (both India and Vietnam use Soviet- and Russian-made defence equipment) could top the agenda of the three-day visit, ET has learnt. Vietnam is also interested in purchasing the Brahmos missile jointly produced by India and Russia.

Amid growing Chinese aggression in the ASEAN region, this is Singh’s first trip to South East Asia since the pandemic.

Last year, Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart Sr Lt Gen Phan Van Giang held wide-ranging conversation on implementing the joint defence plan. During the virtual interaction, both ministers reviewed the progress on the current initiatives and expressed commitment to further enhance engagements between the defence forces of the two countries under the framework of India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (2016) and under the guidance of the Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People signed during the Virtual Summit between the prime ministers of the two countries in December 2020. Both the ministers acknowledged the significance of the Joint Vision Statement of 2015-20 in strengthening defence cooperation engagements between both the countries thus far.

The leaders had agreed to initiate measures to enhance cooperation in the defence industry and technology domain. In a series of tweets following the virtual meet, Singh had termed the relationship between India and Vietnam as “strong and effective”. He had said: “India attaches great importance to its bilateral defence cooperation with Vietnam. Both India and Vietnam share a long-standing tradition of helping each other in difficult times. We have achieved substantial progress in defence industry cooperation in recent years.”

India and Vietnam had upgraded their ties to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2016 and President of Vietnam’s National Assembly visited India in December to celebrate five years of CSP. India’s $100 million defence Line of Credit to Vietnam has been utilised for naval equipment. India has been training Vietnamese military personnel and also helping them with maintenance of some defence products.

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