Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) and Emmanuel Lenain, Director for Asia and Oceania at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam attaches importance to developing ties with France and Europe, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son told Emmanuel Lenain, Director for Asia and Oceania at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

In his meeting with Lenain in Hanoi on April 28, Son lauded the positive progress of the Vietnam-France relationship in all fields since the two countries set up a strategic partnership in 2013, while expressing his delight at the fruitful outcomes of bilateral political consultations.

He highly evaluated achievements in economic cooperation between the two countries over the past years, expecting that their economic ties would see new breakthroughs, especially in technology transfer and sustainable development in infrastructure, renewable energy, aerospace, satellite, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, agriculture, food industry, environment, and urban development.

On the occasion, the Deputy FM welcomed France’s participation in Vietnam Foodexpo 2017 in Ho Chi Minh in November as a honourary guest.

For his part, Lenain praised Vietnam’s role in Southeast Asian and affirmed that the French Government considers Vietnam as a prioritised partner in the region.

He said France supports Vietnam’s efforts in strengthening comprehensive relations with the European Union (EU) and will work closely with Vietnam to speed up the signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

At the meeting, the two officials spoke highly of the close and effective cooperation between the two ministries and agreed to organise the next strategic security and defence dialogue between the two foreign ministries and defence ministries in France in 2018.

They also agreed to implement specific cooperation plans to make bilateral ties more practical and effective in celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 5th anniversary of strategic partnership in 2018.

The two sides also pledged to continue coordinating together closely and support each other at multilateral forums, especially at the UN and within the framework of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEAN-EU cooperation.

Regarding the East Sea issue, both sides affirmed their respect for the law-based principle in seas and oceans, reiterated their commitments to maintaining aviation and navigation freedom, and stressed the need to settle disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes on the basis of observing international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

Earlier on the same day, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Europe Le Dung and Emmanuel Lenain co-chaired a Vietnam-France political consultation.-VNA