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August 14, 2014 8:08 pm

Israel – Vietnam Seeking Major Boost in Defense Ties

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avatar by Dave Bender

IDF Spokesperson's Unit military photographer. Photo: Etan J. Tal.

Vietnam and Israel are working towards a major upgrade in bilateral defense relations, Hanoi media reported Wednesday.

After a meeting with Israeli counterparts, Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Lt.-Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh announced that both sides are interested in what Janes Defense termed a “formal framework.”

Vinh, at a meeting in Hanoi a day earlier with Israeli defense affairs representative to Thailand and Vietnam, Dan Camen, said he hoped the Jewish state would appoint a defense attaché to Vietnam soon, and develop a joint working group on defense cooperation, according to local media.

The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1993, and Vinh noted that both sides have “maintained regular exchange visits and strengthened cooperation in all realms, including economics, trade, education, science-technology, agriculture, health care, as well as in national defence.”

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Camen said he would do his best to deepen ties.

Last July, the two sides set up the Vietnam-Israel Commercial Committee, sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam.

“It will also be a place of cultural exchange between the two communities,” Committee President Omri Horowitz said at a gala launch. The two sides are looking to establish a free trade agreement by the end of the year, according to reports.

At the beginning of the year, Israel Weapon Industries opened a Vietnamese factory to make Galil assault rifles for the Vietnam People’s Army, according to Hanoi media.

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