Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who held wide-ranging talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, said the two countries have decided to elevate their strategic ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to provide it a new momentum.

"Our decision to upgrade our Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership captures the intent and path of our future cooperation. It will provide a new direction, momentum and substance to our bilateral cooperation," said Modi, who arrived on Friday on his maiden visit to this key south east Asian nation. Vietnam had earlier Comprehensive Strategic Partnership only with Russia and China.

"I am also happy to announce a new Defence Line of Credit for Vietnam of $ 500 million for facilitating deeper defence cooperation," Modi said after the signing of the agreements.

The 12 agreements were signed in a wide range of areas covering defence, IT, space, cyber security and sharing white shipping information in presence of Modi and Phuc.

"The range of agreements signed just a while ago point to the diversity and depth of our cooperation," he said, adding the agreement on construction of offshore patrol boats is one of the steps to give concrete shape to the bilateral defence engagement.

Modi described his talks with Vietnamese counterpart as ‘extensive and very productive’ and said they covered the full range of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

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