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Dec 24, 2020 / 08:00

India warship visits Vietnam

Defense cooperation is a key pillar in the comprehensive strategic partnership that was upgraded in 2016.

Indian Naval Ship INS Kiltan will be making a technical halt at Nha Rong Port, Ho Chi Minh City from December 24-26, 2020 as part of “the Indian Navy’s ongoing operational deployment of its ships to South East Asia region.”

 India's INS Kiltan warship. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

The ship, which is the latest indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette, will deliver humanitarian assistance, including Disaster Relief Stores for the flood affected people of Central Vietnam, reflecting the close relationship between the two countries, according to the Embassy of India in Hanoi.

Defence ties

Defence cooperation is a vital component of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (set up in 2016) between the two countries.

Accordingly, the Indian Navy has extensive interactions with Vietnam People’s Navy mostly in the field of training, repairs, maintenance and logistics support aimed at capacity building.

The current ship visit is believed to enhance maritime cooperation between the two Navies and contribute to security and growth for all in the region.

In the virtual summit on December 21, 2020 between the two prime ministers, Vietnam and India unveiled a Joint Vision for peace and prosperity against the backdrop of concerns in both countries about China’s aggressive actions across the region.

India is currently implementing a $100-million defense line of credit for 12 high speed patrol boats for Vietnam. The boats being built for the Vietnam Border Guard are meant to enhance coastal security and prevent illegal activities.

Indian media reported that the Vietnamese side had also agreed on India’s proposals for a further defence line of credit.

Tightened relations 

“India-Vietnam relations today reflect their shared belief that their partnership is not only bilateral in nature but has an important bearing on the peace, prosperity and stability of the Indo-Pacific region founded on their shared respect for international law and a rules-based regional and international order,” the embassy said in a press release.

The two sides agreed to add new momentum to the economic and defense engagement ahead of the 50th anniversary of the bilateral ties in 2022.

Vietnam-India relations have grown stronger in recent times due to the vibrant economic engagement and growing convergence on political, regional and security issues.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, both countries have maintained the momentum in bilateral engagements.

Prime Ministers of both the countries held online talks on April 13, 2020 and the virtual summit on December 21, 2020. Several landmark agreements and announcements were made during the summit covering a broad spectrum including Defense, Energy, Trade and Cultural sphere.

The Joint Commission Meeting between the two Foreign Ministers were conducted online on August 25, 2020. Meanwhile, Defense Ministers held online talks on November 27, 2020 to discuss security issues of mutual interest and concern.

These high-profile engagements signify sustained momentum in the bilateral relationship and in Defense and Security cooperation.