Mattis, Vietnamese Defense Chief Agree to Deepen Security Cooperation - Pentagon

© REUTERS / Mike BlakeU.S. Marine Corps four-star general James Mattis arrives to address at the pre-trial hearing of Marine Corps Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich at Camp Pendleton, California U.S in a March 22, 2010 file photo
U.S. Marine Corps four-star general James Mattis arrives to address at the pre-trial hearing of Marine Corps Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich at Camp Pendleton, California U.S in a March 22, 2010 file photo - Sputnik International
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US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Vietnamese Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich at the Pentagon to discuss increasing defense cooperation to enhance security in the Asia-Pacific, according to the Pentagon.

U.S. machine gunner Spc. 4 James R. Pointer, left, of Cedartown, Ga., and Pfc. Herald Spracklen of Effingham, Ill., peer from the brush of an overgrown rubber plantation near the Special Forces camp at Bu Dop during a half hour firefight, Dec. 5, 1967 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with Vietnamese Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich at the Pentagon to discuss increasing defense cooperation to enhance security in the Asia-Pacific, the Defense Department said in a press release.

"The Secretary and the Minister of National Defense agreed on actions to deepen defense cooperation," the release said on Tuesday. "The two leaders agreed a strong US-Vietnam defense relationship promotes regional and global security. This relationship is based on mutual respect and common interests, including the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea."

Both leaders also agreed to a first-time visit of a US aircraft carrier to Vietnam next year to expand naval cooperation and enhance information-sharing, the release said.

Defense cooperation between the United States and Vietnam brings regional and global security in the Asia-Pacific region, the release stated.

The US-Vietnam relationship strives on common interests that include freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the release noted.

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