Terrorism, Indo-Pacific feature in Modi’s talks with Vietnam PM

Bangkok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the sidelines of 16th India-ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Nov 4, 2019.

Bangkok, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, during which the two sides agreed to work closely to tackle the threats of extremism and terrorism and also to promote peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The two leaders noted the increased bilateral engagement in defence and security fields between the two countries and agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime domain.

The two sides committed to the maintenance of a rules-based order that is based on respect for international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to promote independence of navigation, overflight and rules-based trade in the South China Sea.

The meeting assumes significance as it came days after China and Vietnam were locked in a bitter stand-off over territorial rights at Vanguard Bank in South China Sea. The mineral-rich Vanguard Bank, which Vietnam says is within its territorial waters, was also claimed by China.

During the meeting, Modi conveyed India’s readiness to work closely with Vietnam as the incoming Chairman of ASEAN for 2020, and during its tenure as non-permanent member of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2020-2021.

Both sides emphasised that India-Vietnam relations have been built on a firm foundation of cultural and civilisational links and are marked by mutual trust and understanding as well as strong cooperation in regional and international fora.

It was highlighted during the meeting that the recent high-level exchanges between both the countries have resulted in robust cooperation in several areas, expansion of defence and security ties, forging of closer economic and commercial linkages and deepening of people-to-people engagement.