Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

The Vietnamese and French Ministries of Foreign Affairs have agreed to
work closely to elevate the two countries’ relations to strategic
partnership during the Vietnam-France year.

The agreement was
laid down in a joint communiqué, which was issued following the talks
between Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his French counterpart
Laurent Fabius during the former’s March 26-28 visit to France .

During their talks, the two ministers discussed and
agreed on the itinerary to set up the strategic partnership, which was
noted to focus on cooperation in politics, defence-security, economics,
trade and investment, development cooperation, culture, tertiary
education, science and technology.

They reached
unanimity on bringing into play the efficiency of existing cooperation
mechanisms, including diplomacy and defence strategic dialogue, defence
cooperation joint committee, and an economics-finance forum.

The ministers were unanimous in jointly organising activities within
the framework of the Vietnam Year in France and the France Year in
Vietnam in 2013 and 2014 to mark the 40 th anniversary of the two
countries’ diplomatic ties.

The two ministers noted
with joy positive developments in bilateral trade and investment
cooperation in the context of global economic difficulties, especially
France having maintained its EU leading role as a trade, investment and
development assistance partner of Vietnam .

They
said the two sides boast potentials for cooperation in the prioritised
fields of infrastructure, transport, energy and aviation.

Both host and guest highlighted and agreed on further coordination
between the two ministries at international and multilateral forums,
particularly at the United Nations and within the framework of the
Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the ASEAN-EU and the International
Francophone Organisation.

The French Minister voiced
further support for Vietnam to boost its relations with the
European Union (EU), negotiate the free trade agreement (FTA) with the
EU, as well as during the ratification process of the Vietnam-EU
Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Fabius added that his country will urge the EU to soon recognise Vietnam’s full market economy status.

The French Minister showed interests in and backing for Vietnam’s
stance on the East Sea issue to ensure peace, stability, navigation
freedom and safety and its settlement of disputes through peaceful means
in compliance with international laws, especially the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the
Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards the Code of Conduct in the
East Sea.

During the three-day visit, FM Minh paid a
courtesy visit to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and had meetings
with Speaker of the French Senate Jean-Pierre Bel and President of the
French National Assembly Claude Bartolone.

At these
functions, the French leaders affirmed that their country’s cooperation
with Vietnam is important, and wished to soon elevate the two
countries’ relations to strategic partnership.

FM
Minh underscored Vietnam’s consistent policy of promoting its
cooperation with France, a leading European Union partner in politics,
economics, trade, investment and development cooperation.

He also attended the ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of
establishment of the Vietnam-France diplomatic ties on March 27.-VNA

By vivian