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Friday August 15, 2008

Defence deal with Vietnam

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will hold top-level discussions on defence cooperation with Vietnam, which will also cover the issue of Vietnamese fishermen intruding into Malaysian waters.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect was signed at the Defence Ministry here yesterday between Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, and Vietnam's Defence Minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh.

The MoU will include cooperation in joint military training, exchange of personnel and information and also defence industry collaboration.

“The Vietnamese government has asked that a hotline be established between the two naval forces to help improve cooperation between our navies, especially to establish coordinated patrols along the maritime borders of Malaysia and Vietnam,” said Najib.

Defence meeting: Najib greeting Gen Phung during the latter’s visit to the Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur Thursday.

“To ensure success, we have to look into the legal framework of the patrol programme which we will discuss together soon.”

Najib said Vietnam had asked Malaysia to ensure no violence is used in nabbing Vietnamese fishermen caught fishing illegally in Malaysian waters.

“We will discuss the legal process involved in our enforcement against illegal intrusion by foreign fishermen in Malaysian waters,” he said.

Gen Phung will visit the Lumut navy base and Airod before going home tomorrow.

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