Ambassador Vuong Thua Phong (L) and Jan Zahradil, Vice-Chair of the EP’s International Trade Committee (Source: VNA)
Brussels (VNA) - The Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium on March 1 held a get-together for members of a friendship group of parliamentarians aligned with Vietnam in the European Parliament (EP).

The event aimed to review the group’s work last year and discuss plans for this year.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Vuong Thua Phong, also Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the European Union (EU) briefed participants on political events in Vietnam in 2016, while highlighting the country’s achievements in development.

Regarding the completion of negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he affirmed this is an important milestone in relations between Vietnam and the EU.

He thanked international parliamentarians and friends for their contribution to promoting the partnership, expressing his hope for closer ties between the two sides.

He hoped the EVFTA will be approved and take effect this year, for the benefit of people in Europe and Vietnam.

Jan Zahradil, President of the Group and Vice-Chair of the EP’s International Trade Committee said the group has worked with the European Institute Studying Asia to hold a conference on the impact of the EVFTA, among other activities.

As a friend of Vietnam, the group will continue maintaining close links with the country, thus strengthening EU-Vietnam relations, he affirmed.

He called for a combined effort to accelerate the ratification of the EVFTA deal, stressing that members of the group will do their utmost to ensure its progress.

Jan Zahradil also mentioned an event held last year, which focused on consequences caused by Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin on Vietnamese people scattered by the US army in wars in Vietnam. The event will be continued this year, he noted.

The AO/dioxin related-issues in Vietnam should be addressed at the EP, he stressed, hoping that the group’s members can coordinate with their co-workers in the EP to hold the event.-VNA