Vietnam, South Sudan expand cooperation

PANO � A mission of the the inter-sectoral working group for Vietnam's participation in UN peacekeeping operations, led by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defense Minister, paid a courtesy call on South Sudanese Vice President James Wani Igga.

The delegation also included Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Head of Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN; Senior Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army; and Major General Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department; among others.

At the reception, Igga welcomed the Vietnamese delegates and held that their visit to the African country took place in the context of the newly-established diplomatic ties between South Sudan and Vietnam on February 21.

The host underlined that this establishment demonstrated the goodwill by the Vietnamese Party, State and Government to expand the relationship with South Sudan while the world's youngest country has been facing civil war and poverty.

On behalf of the South Sudanese Government, Igga thanked Vietnam for deploying its forces to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and spoke highly of the professional expertise of Vietnamese peacekeepers. He also held that South Sudan supports Vietnam's bid to run for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

In turn, General Vinh asked Igga to convey credentials of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

The guest expressed his thanks to the people of South Sudan (previously a part of Sudan) for their assistance during wars and struggles for the cause of national liberation and unification. Hence, Vietnam decided to dispatch its forces to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan.

In their remarks, both General Vinh and Ambassador Quy stressed the huge potential for cooperation between Vietnam and South Sudan, adding that Vietnam is willing to share experience to South Sudan in recovering the country after the war, and developing agriculture and industry, including mining.

In addition, General Vinh also conveyed Party General Secretary and State President Trong and Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh's invitations to visit Vietnam to Kiir and Igga, respectively. On behalf of the South Sudanese President, Igga accepted the invitations with pleasure and asked the two sides to arrange the visits in appropriate time through diplomatic channels.

* During their stay in South Sudan, the Vietnamese missions had separate working meetings with the host Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

At these meetings, South Sudanese Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Kuol Manyang Juuk and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Deng Dau Deng Malek emphasize the importance of the recent establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties. They told that this milestone would pave the way for South Sudan and Vietnam to expand their relationship in various fields including defense cooperation.

The two sides exchanged issues of mutual concern. Both Juuk and Malek highly appreciated Vietnam's participation in UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan and urged Vietnam to send more peacekeepers to South Sudan to contribute to restoring peace and stability to the African country.

For their parts, General Vinh and Ambassador Quy conveyed invitations to visit Vietnam of the Vietnamese leaders of the Ministries of National Defense and Foreign Affairs to their South Sudanese counterparts, and Juuk and Malek accepted the invitations.

* Previously, the Vietnamese delegation met Lieutenant General Malek Reuben Riak, Deputy Minister of South Sudanese Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs and visited the office of the China North Industries Group Corp., known as Norinco, in Juba.

Source: People's Army Newspaper