New Delhi: To pay homage to Vietnamese war hero Vo Nguyen Giap, Defence Minister A K Antony today visited the embassy of that country today in his first public engagement in the past one month.
Antony was recuperating in the Army Research and Referral Hospital here after a prostate surgery last month and joined office only yesterday.
"The Defence Minister drove down to the Vietnamese Embassy here and paid homage on behalf of the nation to Gen Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant commander who brought victory for Vietnam in many wars. Gen Giap passed away in Hanoi on October 4 at the age of 102," a Defence Ministry release said.
During his Vietnam visit in 2007, Antony had also met the war veteran in Hanoi and the Indian delegation was the last one to have been received by Giap. During his visit, he had said he had read about the heroics of the legendary figure during his younger days and was happy to meet Giap in person.
Offering the deepest condolences, Antony said India shares the grief of the people of Vietnam on the passing of one of their most respected national heroes.
"Gen Giap`s leadership of Vietnam`s national liberation had evoked the admiration of the Indian people.
He shall remain an inspiration to people all over the world," he said.
Giap was instrumental in defeating three of five permanent members of the UN Security Council- France, US and China in Vietnam.
He was the longest serving Defence Minister of Vietnam who faced most of the incursions and invasions on the Vietnamese territory as head of the military.