Hollande wants further defense deals with Vietnam

French president on state visit to Hanoi calls for increased cooperation, peaceful solution to South China Sea dispute

Hollande wants further defense deals with Vietnam

World Bulletin / News Desk

France's president has called for increased defense cooperation between his country and Vietnam during a state visit to Hanoi on Tuesday. 

Without going into specific arrangements, Francois Hollande called for France to help bolster Vietnam’s military capabilities for the purposes of international peacekeeping operations during a speech at Vietnam National University.

Hollande also reaffirmed France’s position that the South China Sea dispute, which involves overlapping maritime claims between China, Vietnam and several others, should be resolved peacefully.

France, which was Vietnam’s colonial master until it was defeated by local communist forces in 1954, has grown closer to Vietnam in recent years as Hanoi seeks to build bridges with its former foes.

The last visit from a French head of state to Vietnam was in 2004 when President Jacques Chirac made a trip.

France has emerged as one of the European Union's primary proponents of increased naval patrols in the South China Sea in response to China’s claim to most of the waters.

Speaking last June at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged EU countries to step up naval patrols in waters claimed by China but recognized as international under United Nations conventions.

"If we want to contain the risk of conflict, we must defend this right, and defend it ourselves," said Le Drian.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Eylül 2016, 10:26