Two ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy, frigate HMNZS Te Mana and sustainment vessel HMNZS Aotearoa, arrived at the international port of Ho Chi Minh City on September 24, starting a five-day friendship visit to Viet Nam.

Leading the New Zealand delegation, Commander of the Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral James Gilmour said the visit follows a successful trip to his country by Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong, Chief of the General Staff of the Viet Nam People’s Army and Deputy Minister of National Defense, in July 2023.

It is a demonstration of the intensive cooperation between the two countries and aims to help strengthen their defense relations as well as people-to-people ties, he noted.

New Zealand pledges to boost defense cooperation with Viet Nam on the basis of respect for international law and the rules on navigation freedom, he went on, adding that it believes the development and expansion of bilateral relations will contribute to regional security.

Over the past years, Viet Nam and New Zealand have frequently shared information and promoted cooperation via the annual defense strategy and defense policy dialogues, along with within multilateral frameworks such as the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus.

During their stay in HCM City, the officers and sailors of New Zealand will engage in a number of activities, including meetings between the countries’ navies, sports exchanges, and community activities.

They will also join the High Command of Viet Nam’s Naval Region 2 in a sand table exercise.