India and Vietnam hold maritime security dialogue

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New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) India and Vietnam on Tuesday deliberated on maritime security cooperation as well as on the evolving regional situation during a virtual dialogue.

The discussions took place as part of the second maritime security dialogue.

'The consultations involved exchanges on developments in the domain of maritime security, regional cooperation activities and opportunities for cooperation between the two countries,' the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The defence and security ties between the two countries have witnessed steady expansion.

In December last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc during which both sides vowed to boost overall defence and security cooperation, including in the maritime sphere.

In the wake of growing military muscle-flexing by China in the South China Sea region, the two leaders had specifically reaffirmed the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, several ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, Philippines and Brunei, have counter claims. PTI MPB AAR AAR