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India, Vietnam hold security dialogue; discuss ways to enhance maritime security cooperation

Deputy National Security Adviser Vikram Misri with Deputy Minister of Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam Senior Lt Gen Luong Tam Quang and other dignitaries during the second India-Vietnam Security Dialogue, in New Delhi, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. Photo: PTI

NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Vietnam held their security dialogue in New Delhi on Tuesday and discussed ways to enhance maritime security cooperation, with New Delhi reiterating its firm stand for the freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international laws, people familiar with the matter said.

The Second India-Vietnam Security Dialogue at the level of Deputy National Security Advisor/ Deputy Minister took place in-person with the Indian side led by Vikram Misri, Deputy National Security Adviser, and the Vietnamese side by Senior Lieutenant General Luong Tam Quang, Deputy Minister of Public Security.

An MoU for cooperation signed between the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security in 2016 established the institutional mechanism. The inaugural dialogue was held in April 2018 in Hanoi.

Misri reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), focused on a collaborative effort to better manage, conserve, sustain and secure the maritime domain, and which shares strong convergence with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, people in the know of the meeting said.

Vietnam appreciated India's role in promoting peace and security in the region and in shaping the Indo-Pacific architecture, they said.

Misri reiterated India's firm stand for the freedom of navigation and overflight, and unimpeded lawful commerce in national waters in accordance with international laws, notably UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), as well as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, they said.

Vietnam, an important country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.

India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. India and Vietnam have been boosting their maritime security cooperation in the last few years to protect common interests.

During Tuesday's talks, the two sides agreed to collaborate and cooperate on counter-terrorism.

The two sides agreed that coordinated efforts are needed to combat the nexus of radicalization, terrorism and the production and trafficking of illegal narcotics and arms in the region, those in the know of the discussions said.

India also offered to continue to assist Vietnam for capacity building programmes, including providing training to Ministry of Public Security officials in undertaking UN Peace Keeping Missions.

India will be guided by the requirements of the Vietnamese side on such capacity building programmes. India also offered to share its expertise and domain knowledge in the field of cyber security.

As two maritime countries, India and Vietnam have an abiding interest in ensuring peace and security in the shared maritime space.

Sharing of best practices to combat piracy and illegal fishing was also discussed. The two sides also agreed to actively exchange views in areas such as blue economy, sustainable oceans and marine connectivity.

Lt Gen Quang also called on the National Secretary Adviser and met the Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs. He will travel to Bodh Gaya during the visit.

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