Bilateral diplomatic highlights in first quarter
18:21 | 08/04/2018
VGP – High-level talks between Vietnamese leaders and foreign counterparts in the first quarter of 2018 aim to consolidate and strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries, traditional and key partners.

French President Emannuel Macron welcomes Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at Élysée Palace, Paris on March 27, 2018. Photo: VNA

VN, France hope VN-EU FTA to take effect soon

Viet Nam and France issued a joint statement on the occasion of the official visit to France from March 25-27 made by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong at the invitation of French President Emannuel Macron.

The leaders hoped the free trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and the EU will be signed and approved in 2018, and it will take effect soon.

The two sides reaffirmed the central role played by the UN in maintaining peace and international security, and promoting prosperity and sustainable development as well as their respect for the UN Charter and commitment to respecting the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political mechanisms of each other.

They agreed to promote the development of a multi-polar world and multilateralism based on mutual respect, equality, fairness and cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefits.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (left) and President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz in Havana on March 29, 2018. Photo: VNA.

VN-Cuba relationship is priceless asset

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong had talks with First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz in Havana on March 29.

At the talks, the two leaders noted that the special Cuba-Viet Nam relationship, nurtured by late President Ho Chi Minh and Leader Fidel Castro, is a priceless asset of the two Parties, States and peoples. The two sides need to make unceasing efforts to protect, develop and pass those ties down to future generations.

The leaders agreed the two countries will intensify the sharing of experience, especially in leadership and management training, socio-economic development and Party building. 

They decided to step up cooperation in economy, trade, investment and education for young generations, while continuing close affiliation in national defense and security, as well as external affairs. 

Viet Nam committed to backing Cuba’s bid to run for a seat in the UN Human Rights Council for 2021-2023. Meanwhile, Cuba pledged its support for Viet Nam’s nomination for a seat in the UN Security Council for 2020-2021. 

State President Tran Dai Quang (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India on March 3, 2018. Photo: VNA

VN, India play important role in regional architecture

State President Tran Dai Quang paid a State visit to India from March 2-4 at the invitation of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.

In the Joint Statement issued on the occasion of the visit, both sides expressed their satisfaction at the excellent state of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

Both sides agreed that defense and security cooperation is an important and effective pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and expressed satisfaction at the progress being made in this domain.

The Indian side affirmed its continued willingness to partner with Viet Nam in defense cooperation and in building capabilities and capacities for Viet Nam. Both sides agreed to expedite the implementation of the US$100 million Line of Credit for building of high-speed patrol boats for the Viet Nam Border Guards and urged for early signing of a framework agreement on the US$ 500 million Line of Credit for defense industry.

The leaders emphasized that India and Viet Nam play important roles in safeguarding and strengthening such an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture and in further strengthening of cooperation with ASEAN. 

State President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: VNA
Strengthening close ties between VN and Bangladesh

State President Tran Dai Quang paid a State visist to Bangladesh from March 4-6 at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdul Hamid.

According to their Joint Statement , the two sides agreed to strengthen the close ties and political understanding between the two countries through exchange of high-level visits and interactions as well as the exchange of delegations at various levels and through increased people-to-people contacts. In this spirit, President Tran Dai Quang welcomed a visit by Bangladeshi leadership to Viet Nam in the near future.

 The two sides expressed satisfaction at the growing volume of bilateral trade which in 2017 amounted to nearly US$ 900 million, an increase of around 50% against that of 2016. The two sides also agreed to hold the 2nd meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade in 2018 to seek avenues to enhance bilateral trade.

Both sides stressed on the need for implementation of the Air Service Agreement to establish direct air connectivity between the two countries to foster trade, tourism, and people-to-people contact.

State President Tran Dai Quang hosts welcoming ceremony for President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in at the Presidential Palace in Ha Noi on March 23, 2018. Photo:VGP

VN, RoK vow to achieve trade goal of US$100 billion

Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) issued a joint statement on the occasion of RoK President Moon Jae-in’s State visit to Viet Nam from March 22-24.

The two sides agreed to expand trade ties in a balanced and sustainable manner, towards lifting two-way trade to US$100 billion by 2020. 

The leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in security, defense and defense industry. They agreed to soon adopt a statement on joint vision on defense cooperation between the two Defense Ministries, while improving win-win partnership in defense industry.

The RoK is currently Viet Nam’s largest foreign investor, second biggest trade partner and ODA provider. Meanwhile, Viet Nam is the 4th largest trade partner of the RoK.

Both sides have witnessed fruitful cooperation in the fields of manufacturing, energy, culture, education, tourism and labor.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) meets Cambodian PM Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the margin of the second Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Wednesday. Photo: VGP

Pushing for legal status of Cambodian people of Vietnamese origin 

In his meeting with Cambodian PM Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the margin of the second Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Summit in January, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed Viet Nam consistently wishes to continue consolidating and developing the "good neighborhood, traditional friendship, comprehensive, sustainable and long-term cooperation" with Cambodia.

In a friendly and trustful atmosphere, the pair discussed practical measures to further deepen cooperation in such fields like trade, transport, finance and banking among others.

Both sides also agreed to actively push for the legal status of Cambodian people of Vietnamese origin on the basis of Cambodia’s law and the friendly neighboring relations between the two countries.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) shakes hands with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi,  New Delhi, January 24, 2018 - Photo: VGP

VN, India strive to achieve trade goal

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as part of his tour to India to attend the ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit and a ceremony celebrating the 69th anniversary of Republic Day of India.

The two leaders agreed to task inferior levels to work out measures to  achieve the two-way trade target of US$15 billion by 2020.

PM Phuc highly valued India’s stance on the East Sea issue and welcomed India’s further coordination in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Viet Nam’s economic exclusive zone and continental shelf. 

Modi vowed to enhance Viet Nam’s capacity via the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program, the Mekong – Ganga Cooperation, the Quick Impact Projects, actively consider increasing long-term scholarships to Vietnamese students in prestigious Indian universities, as well as help Viet Nam build several vocational training centers. 

New Zealand's PM Jacinda Andern welcomes PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Spouse. Photo: VGP

Advancing VN-NZ ties towards Strategic Partnership

During his official visit to New Zealand from March 12-14, the two countries issued Joint Statement on advancing Viet Nam-New Zealand Comprehensive Partnership toward Strategic Partnership.

The Joint Statement reads: “Noting the positive momentum in the relationship since the establishment of the Comprehensive Partnership in 2009, the two Prime Ministers agreed to advance the Comprehensive Partnership and assigned relevant ministries and branches of both sides to actively and effectively realize the Plan of Action 2017-2020 as well as to expeditiously conclude talks and consultations by 2019 on a Strategic Partnership elevation in the near future as mutually agreed.”

The two sides acknowledged the recent positive developments in bilateral defense cooperation such as the signing of the New Zealand-Viet Nam Three Year Defense Cooperation Action Plan 2018-2021 and the Peacekeeping Operations Training and Cooperation Implementing Arrangement, as well as high-level defense visits in both directions. 

Both sides expressed confidence that the target of US$1.7 billion in two-way trade could be reached by 2020 accordingly. They welcomed the signing of the Arrangement on Economic and Trade Cooperation on this occasion, and requested the early convening of the 6th meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade and Investment.

The two countries set the target to increase the number of Vietnamese students in New Zealand by 30% by 2020 by facilitating further student exchanges, university-to-university joint programs and other cooperation in both countries.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Australian counterpart Malcom Turnbull sign the Strategic Partnership between Viet Nam and Australia. Photo: VGP

VN, Australia establish Strategic Partnership

Viet Nam and Australia jointly decided to elevate the bilateral relationship to the level of a Strategic Partnership, on the occasion of the official visit to Australia by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc from March 14-18 at the invitation of Australian PM Malcom Turnbull.

The two leaders confirmed the two countries’ increasing strategic relations and shared regional interests and reaffirmed their commitment to closer defense, law and justice, intelligence and security cooperation, contributing to the peace, stability and development of the region.

They pledged to expand high-level official contacts to advance the already strong cooperation in economics and trade, foreign affairs, defense, security, law and justice, science, technology, agriculture, innovation and education, and other areas such as labor and tourism.

Both countries also committed to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship and pursue more open trade and investment through global and regional economic integration.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith - Photo: VGP

VN-Laos sign 12 cooperation documents

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith co-chaired the 40th meeting of the Viet Nam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee in Vientiane, Laos, on February 5.

In 2018, the two sides will focus on implementing the joint statement and agreements reached by senior leaders, as well as deals between ministries, sectors and localities, including those reached during this meeting.

They will double efforts to achieve a 10 percent growth in two-way trade, while expanding collaboration in human resources training, investing in transport infrastructure projects to connect the two countries, and coordinating in managing the sustainable use of water and natural resources.

After the meeting, the two PMs witnessed the signing of 12 cooperation documents of ministries, departments and localities in the fields of economics, trade, investment, education-training and energy. The documents included an agreement on investment cooperation to develop Vung Ang port. 

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) meets with Queen of the Netherlands Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague on March 26, 2018. Photo: VNA

VN attaches importance to cooperation with Netherlands

Viet Nam attaches great importance to relations and cooperation with the Netherlands, seeing it as an example of “significant and effective relations” between the two countries.

Top Vietnamese legislator Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan stressed the point while meeting with Queen of the Netherlands Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague on March 26.

Queen Maxima hailed Viet Nam efforts in developing the national strategy on inclusive growth to promote full access to financial services, enhance its economic position and develop the country.

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh (R) and KoK FM Kang Kyung-wha shake hands at the Government Guest House in Ha Noi on March 9, 2018. Photo: VGP

VN attaches importance to relationship with RoK

Viet Nam always attaches importance to the relationship with the Republic of Korea (RoK), expecting the RoK to strengthen development cooperation, promote free trade, regional connection and maintain peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh made that statement at his talks with Korean FM Kang Kyung-wha Ha Noi in March 9.

During the friendly and sincere talks, the two sides reviewed the progress of bilateral ties over the past time, especially since the two countries established strategic partnership in 2009, discussed ways to further foster the Viet Nam- RoK relations, exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concerns.

Deputy PM, FM Minh suggested the RoK boost technology transfer, help Vietnamese firms to take part in production chains of the Korean businesses which are investing in Viet Nam, and support the establishment and operation of a Viet Nam-RoK technology transfer center.

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov sign the Cooperative Plan between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs in 2019-2020 period following their talks in Ha Noi on March 23, 2018. Photo: VGP

VN, Russia discuss ways to boost comprehensive strategic partnership

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov held talks in Ha Noi on March 23. 

They lauded growing bilateral ties over the past years, especially political relationship with high trust which has laid solid foundation for sustainable and dynamic development of Viet Nam – Russia comprehensive strategic partnership. 

Both sides agreed to increase all-level exchanges and improve the efficiency of existing cooperation, dialogue and consultation mechanisms, accelerate negotiations and signing of new deals to create legal foundation for all-around ties. 

Hailing the positive outcomes of the Viet Nam - Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (VN-EAEU FTA), they agreed to further strive to lift two-way trade to 10 billion USD by 2020. 

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh (R) and Chinese State Councilor and FM Wang Yi co-chair press briefing after thier talks in Ha Noi.

VN, China pledge to pursue high-level common perceptions

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh held talks with Chinese State Councilor and FM Wang Yi on the occasion of the latter’s official visit to Viet Nam and attendance at the 6th Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS-6) from March 29-31.

Deputy PM Minh congratulated China on the successful organization of the 1st annual sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to elect new leaders for the new tenure.

The two sides pledged to push forward the implementation of common perceptions and cooperation agreements reached by their leaders, while actively supporting the settlement of existing and emerging problems, thus maintaining the stable development of bilateral relations.

The host expressed his concerns over potential factors that can intensify tension and instability at sea, stating that the legitimate rights and interests of Viet Nam should be respected in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982.

Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich (R) welcomes Russian Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu in Ha Noi on March 23, 2018.

Russia considers VN an important strategic partner

Russian Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, paid an official visit to Viet Nam from January 22-23 at the invitation of Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich.

Minister Sergei Shoigu affirmed that Russia considers Viet Nam a traditional friend and an important strategic partner in the region.

The bilateral defense cooperation has been expanded and reinforced through all-level delegation exchange, military technical and naval cooperation, UN peacekeeping activities, and experience sharing in military law, history, art, culture, and sports.

Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich (R) welcomes US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on March 25, 2018.

VN, US discuss bilateral defense cooperation

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis paid an official visit to Viet Nam from January 24 – 25 at the invitation of Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich.

During their talks, the two ministers reviewed the results of defense co-operation between Việt Nam and the US and agreed on measures to promote ties in the future, based on a memorandum of understanding on defense co-operation signed in 2011, a Joint Vision Statement on defense ties signed in 2015, an action plan for 2018-2020 and agreements reached by their senior leaders. 

Both agreed that bilateral defense co-operation has been producing practical outcomes, particularly in searching for missing US servicemen, AO/dioxin decontamination, bomb and mine clearance, rescue and humanitarian aid and UN peacekeeping operations. 

The two ministers also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern. 

This was the sixth visit to Viet Nam by a US Secretary of Defense since the two countries normalized relations in 1995 and the first by Mattis since he took office in 2017./.

By Quang Minh

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