Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh talks to reporters on the sidelines of the 14th parliament's first session (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The new Government wants to maintain a peaceful environment and create optimal conditions for national development, said Pham Binh Minh, who has been re-elected Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam.

On the fringe of the 14th National Assembly’s first session, he told reporters that the Government has begun the 2016 – 2021 tenure amidst an array of complicated developments in the region and the world.

To ensure a peaceful environment, Vietnam has to actively join global efforts, enhance cooperation with all countries, foster ties with strategic and comprehensive partners, and tighten connections with neighbours.

2016 is the first year of the ASEAN Community, and it is necessary to make best use of the Community to create a peaceful environment and encourage development for production, trade and investment relations with the region of a combined 600-million-strong population, he said.

Minh added the current global situation provides opportunities and challenges to Vietnam.

The Deputy PM and FM said the participation in FTAs will help Vietnam bolster exports and high-quality investment. Meanwhile, the country must fine-tune regulations to realise commitments in FTAs while protecting itself from the agreements’ adverse impacts.

With regard to the freshly-concluded 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-49) in Laos, the officials issued a joint communiqué along with three important statements, including the foreign ministers’ statement on maintaining peace and security and asking non-ASEAN nations to respect the bloc’s central role and solidarity.

Another statement between ASEAN and China calls for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and a finalised code of conduct in the waters (COC).

The third statement was issued on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which was a cornerstone for building ASEAN. A fundamental principle of the TAC is ASEAN’s central role and the regional countries’ role in promoting peace and stability in the region, Minh noted.

The joint communiqué and the three statements underscored the importance of the group’s central role and solidarity, as well as peace and stability in the region.

In their statement issued at the AMM-49, the ASEAN ministers also reiterated their countries’ concern over the East Sea situation, particularly actions escalating tensions like island reclamation activities. They stressed that all relevant parties must refrain from such actions and resolve disputes peacefully on the basis of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.-VNA