Philippines, Viet Nam enhance personnel interaction through Senior Officers’ Exchange Visit Program*

October 25, 2023

October 16, 2023 (Quezon City) – Acting Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Marita I. Yoro received a delegation from Viet Nam, headed by Senior Colonel Lê Van Phan, at the Department of National Defense (DND).

The delegation from Viet Nam, composed of officers from the Viet Nam People’s Army (VPA), visited the Philippines for the 8th Philippines-Viet Nam Senior Officers’ Exchange Visit Program (SOEVP) from October 16-23, 2023.

Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, Acting Asec Yoro emphasized the importance of the SOEVP as a platform to strengthen partnerships, understand shared history, promote cultural awareness and confidence building, and foster camaraderie among military officers of both countries. Senior Colonel Lê expressed appreciation for the hospitality accorded to the Vietnamese delegation.

Moreover, Acting Asec Yoro reaffirmed the DND’s commitment to increase cooperation with Viet Nam, which is one of the four (4) declared strategic partners of the Philippines. Both sides looked forward to the upcoming 5th Vice Ministers’ Defense Strategic Dialogue (VMDSD) and 6th Defense Cooperation Working Group (DCWG) meetings in November 2023.

Senior Colonel Lê remarked the vital importance of strengthening personnel interaction through the SOEVP, and increasing engagements among major services. He hoped to include representatives from the Viet Nam People’s Navy and Air Force to participate in the next SOEVPs. Senior Colonel Lê underscored that, aside from being fellow ASEAN Member States, the similarities in both countries’ history and culture contribute to deepening people-to-people connections.

Other activities of the Vietnamese delegation under the 8th SOEVP included courtesy calls on AFP senior officials, including major service commanders, and visit to various museums and heritage sites of the Philippines.

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