HCM CITY — The German frigate Bayern entered Nhà Rồng Port of HCM City on Thursday morning, marking the first visit of a ship under the European country’s Navy to Việt Nam.
The four-day port visit is another stop on the frigate’s seven-month training and presence cruise in the Indo-Pacific.
The frigate, which carries 232 servicemen and women, departed for the Indo-Pacific from its homeport of Wilhelmshaven on August 2, 2021, and has so far travelled through the Horn of Africa, Pakistan, Australia, Guam, Japan, South Korea and Singapore before it arrived in southern Việt Nam.
Sri Lanka and India are set to be its next destinations on the way back to Germany.
Captain Tilo Kalski appreciated the warm reception for the frigate and the crew from representatives of the German Embassy in Việt Nam and HCM City’s administration, while expressing a commitment to the maintenance of peace and international law in the Indo-Pacific.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced limited contact between the crew and on-land Vietnamese counterparts, during the friendship visit to Việt Nam, the captain of the FGS Bayern is expected to pay a courtesy visit to the leaders of the People’s Committee of HCM City and 2nd Regional Command of the Việt Nam People’s Navy, which is charged with the defence of the waters from southern Bình Thuận to Bạc Liêu provinces as well as the southern continental shelf.
The German frigate will also together with the Vietnamese Navy participate in a PASSEX exercise when it departed.
German Ambassador to Việt Nam Guido Hildner said the visit of the frigate is “an expression of the friendship between Việt Nam and Germany”.
“It recognises the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific for international relations. With the frigate’s voyage, Germany strengthens cooperation with key partners and reaffirms the international rule-based order, especially the validity of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the authoritative set of rules for the seas,” the diplomat remarked.
The frigate’s Indo-Pacific voyage underscores the security component of the Indo-Pacific Guidelines adopted by the German government in September 2020, through which Germany aims to strengthen its role as a shaping actor and partner in the region. The aim of the guidelines is to intensify relations in and with the region and place them on a broader footing.
The visit of the frigate Bayern to HCM City in the New Year is further proof of the vitality of the strategic partnership between Germany and Việt Nam. — VNS