Vietnam, Japan hold 5th defence policy dialogue

At the talks (Source: VNA) Washington D.C. (VNA) – Defence Minister, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Washington D.C. on August 8 following a welcome ceremony the same day.  Lich, who is on US visit from August 7-10, said Vietnam considers the US one of the top important partners and always prioritises developing bilateral ties based on the principles of equality, respect for political regime, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country. He spoke highly of the US’s collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guards in law enforcement at sea as well as in the United Nations peacekeeping mission. The two officials hailed the outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral defence ties covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities. They agreed to reinforce coordination under signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery efforts in Vietnam, response to non-traditional security challenges and the UN peacekeeping activities. About dioxin clean-up in contaminated areas, Lich said the two sides have concluded the first stage of the Da Nang airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are also conducting studies to launch a…... [read more]

The detoxified land at Da Nang airport (Photo: VNA) Da Nang (VNA) – Representatives of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence and Air Defense - Air Force signed a deal on August 9 to hand over 12.7 hectares of land, which had been cleaned up from dioxin contamination at Da Nang airport, to the Ministry of Transport for management. This is the second handover of detoxified land for the expansion of the airport as the USAID and Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence are cooperating to disinfect dioxin-contaminated land and mud at the area which used to be a US air base. The governments of the US and Vietnam have been joining hands to deal with dioxin contamination in Vietnam since 2007. Launched in 2012, the dioxin detoxification project at the Da Nang airport is an important milestone in bilateral cooperative relations. The project has successfully treated 94,000 cubic metres of contaminated land and mud and it is expected to be completed in early 2018. At that time, all health risks posed by dioxin exposure will be removed. Senior Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, said the Da Nang airport is one of the three “hotspots” of dioxin contamination in Vietnam. The airport is located at a strategic position in terms of both security-defence and socio-economic development of Da Nang and the entire central region, he said. …... [read more]

NDO/VNA – Defence Minister, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Washington D.C., on August 8, following a welcome ceremony which took place the same day. Lich, who is on a US visit from August 7-10, said that Vietnam considers the US as one of the most important partners and always prioritises the development of the bilateral ties based on the principles of equality, respect for political regimes, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country. He spoke highly of the US’s collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guards in law enforcement at sea, as well as in the United Nations peacekeeping missions. The two officials hailed the outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral defence ties, covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities. They agreed to reinforce coordination under the signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery efforts in Vietnam, response to non-traditional security challenges, in addition to the UN peacekeeping activities. Regarding the dioxin clean-up in contaminated areas, Lich said the two sides have concluded the first stage of the Da Nang airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are also conducting studies to launch a similar…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – Defence Minister, Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Washington D.C., on August 8, following a welcome ceremony which took place the same day. Lich, who is on a US visit from August 7-10, said that Vietnam considers the US as one of the most important partners and always prioritises the development of the bilateral ties based on the principles of equality, respect for political regimes, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country. He spoke highly of the US’s collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guards in law enforcement at sea, as well as in the United Nations peacekeeping missions. The two officials hailed the outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral defence ties, covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities. They agreed to reinforce coordination under the signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery efforts in Vietnam, response to non-traditional security challenges, in addition to the UN peacekeeping activities. Regarding the dioxin clean-up in contaminated areas, Lich said the two sides have concluded the first stage of the Da Nang airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are also conducting studies to launch a similar…... [read more]

An area under dioxin detoxification at Da Nang airport (Illustrative photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The trial dioxin detoxification using microbial technology at A Sho airfield of A Luoi district, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, has generated optimistic outcomes. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a workshop in Hanoi on August 4 to report on the outcomes of the test detoxification, which was carried out by the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s biology company BJC and the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment. By using the RoK’s microbial species, the land area considered to be most contaminated with dioxin at A Sho airfield received anaerobic treatment for three months and then aerobic treatment. The dioxin concentration in the contaminated land declined from 161.65pg-TEQ per gram to 104.93pg-TEQ per gram, according to scientists from the BJC, the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, and the Korea Institute of Toxicology. Basing on the test’ results, participants at the workshop highly valued the capacity and efforts of Korean experts. They asked authorised agencies of Vietnam and the RoK to complete necessary procedures to publicise official research findings and facilitate social organisations’ international cooperation in environmental protection and socio-economic development. The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals from 1961 to 1971, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, over nearly one quarter of the total area of South Vietnam.  Preliminary statistics showed…... [read more]

The signing of the MOI between the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense and the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the two governments’ commitment to start the detoxification by July, 2011 and complete it within two years. Nguyen Huy Hieu, Deputy Minister of Defence said that it is an important task for Vietnam to overcome the consequences of dioxin and Agent Orange. In recent years, the Ministry of Defence has worked with some international agencies, including those from the US, to implement the detoxification in some regions. The Deputy Minister also hoped that the programme would further improve the environment and health of Vietnamese people. According to the US Ambassador to Vietnam, Michael Michalak, since 2001, the US and Vietnam have cooperated to solve potential environmental and medical issues related to dioxin and Agent Orange. In 2010 alone, the US financed US$16.9 million for an US$34 million to clear the dioxin in Da Nang.... [read more]

Representatives of the US Embassy in Hanoi recently worked with VAVA to inquire into the living conditions of the Vietnamese victims and ways of minimizing the harmful effects of the toxic chemicals, VAVA Vice President Tran Xuan Thu told Vietnam News Agency on November 10. US officials agreed that health care is one of the embassy’s four priority areas, focusing on providing medical services for the victims and those living in the areas affected by the chemicals. VAVA leaders welcomed the US’s positive moves, saying the US has provided financial aid to Agent Orange remediation projects in hotspots. Currently, VAVA is studying new dioxin detoxification methods for the victims, Thu said, adding that the sauna therapy in Thai Binh province is paying off. He added that the Ministry of National Defence has agreed to build two more detoxification centres at Hospitals No103 and 175. Philanthropists in Vietnam and around the world are joining hands to assist the Vietnamese victims spiritually and materially. The Vietnamese Embassy in Finland on November 10 handed over 2,050 euros to a VAVA representative to support the victims.... [read more]

They have admitted that it is a complicated, long-term issue that requires the joint efforts of both Vietnam and the US. Head of the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on AO/Dioxin, Ha Huy Thong, made this statement on April 19 during his ongoing visit to Washington, D.C. He said the US senators are still committed to maintaining the budget for the AO/Dioxin detoxification programme in Vietnam, despite the fact that the country has suffered massive public spending cuts of more than US$80 billion in 2013. Last year, the US provided Vietnam with US$44 million to clean up and detoxify some AO/Dioxin infected areas in the central city of Danang. Vietnam has 3.5-4 million people suffering from the effects of the toxic chemical and the Aspen Institute, an international non-profit organisation headquartered in the US capital, estimates that the country needs about US$410 million to deal with AO/Dioxin issues in the 2012-2017 period.... [read more]

Gen. Dang hailed the US veterans’ contributions to healing the aftermath of war that still scars Vietnam, particularly by the assistance lent to missing Vietnamese soldier location efforts. The remains of more than 500,000 Vietnamese soldiers are still officially missing. Nearly 2,000 American soldiers have also yet to be identified. The US has helped Vietnam uncover around 1,150 Vietnamese martyr remains and about 1,000 remains of US soldiers have been found by Vietnam. The Vietnamese delegation proposed the two countries’ war veterans sign a memorandum of understanding on what they have achieved and asked the US veterans’ organisations to intensify lobbying aimed at encouraging their Government to expand its involvement in war relief activities in Vietnam. They encouraged US businesses run by war veterans to promote economic cooperation with Vietnamese partners. Rick Weidman, Vietnam Veterans of America’s Executive Director for Policy and Government Affairs, said US veterans feel a deep sympathy towards the pain of Vietnam’s losses and are eager to unite in efforts to further the country’s healing process. He suggested the US Government step up its support for Vietnam’s Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification and unexploded ordnance clearance.... [read more]

The Deputy Defence Minister held working sessions with Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Puneet Talwar. He also met Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs Anne Witkowsky, the Commandant of the US Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zunkunft and Deputy Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Jennifer Zakriski. In those meetings, the two sides shared viewpoints on issues of common concern; assessed bilateral cooperation results achieved and agreed that defence cooperation in the past years has met the two sides’ expectations. Relating to cooperation orientation in upcoming times, the two sides discussed and agreed on measures to achieve desired outcomes in cooperation fields such as mines and explosive clearance, dioxin detoxification at seriously contaminated sites, the search of missing soldiers and helping war victims. The two sides agreed to boost cooperation in the United Nations’ peacekeeping activities and said Vietnam’s participation is evidence of the responsibility of a member nation of the UN. The US officials all hoped to continue strengthening defence cooperation with Vietnam in line with the general relationship on the principle of mutually respect for Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity without affecting Vietnam’s relations with other countries, contributing to peace, stability and development in the region and the world as a whole. Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh expressed their delight at the results achieved in bilateral defence…... [read more]




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