President Truong Tan Sang (L) and French President Francois Hollande (Photo: VNA).
President Truong Tan Sang affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to developing all-around relations with France as one of its top partners during his meeting with French President Francois Hollande, on the sidelines of the UN Summit in New York on September 28 (local time).

During the meeting, the two sides expressed their joy at developments in bilateral relations after the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013, while agreeing to promote delegation exchange at all levels in the future, thus deepening bilateral cooperation dialogue mechanisms on strategy, security, defence, and economics.

They concurred to make economic connection the main pillar of the Vietnam-France relations, stressing that the two sides should encourage their businesses to forge links in fields of France’s strength and which Vietnam needs to develop, including infrastructure and “smart city” development, public transport, aviation and space studies, energy, agriculture, food processing, the environment and health care.

The Vietnamese President asked that France, as a pillar nation in the European Union (EU), urge the EU to quickly sign and ratify the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and early recognise Vietnam’s market economy.

He also requested that France accelerate its ratification of the Vietnam- EU framework agreement on partnership and cooperation (PCA) .

The Vietnamese State leader took the occasion to thank France for providing remarkable support for Vietnam to implement development cooperation projects and realise Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He expressed his desire that the two countries will continue to work closely in implementing post-2015 development targets.

The two Presidents agreed to promote trilateral cooperation projects involving Vietnam, France and African nations.

They saw eye to eye on the need to enhance coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and in international activities, especially the UN peacekeeping operations and efforts to cope with climate change.

President Sang thanked France for its backing of Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the tenure 2020-2021, and asked France to support Vietnam’s bid to join the UNESCO Executive Council in 2015-2019 and the UN Economic and Social Council ( ECOSOC ) in 2016-2018.

Regarding regional issues of common concern, President Truong Tan Sang called on France to continue upholding its important role and raise voice to contribute to maintaining peace and stability, ensuring navigation and aviation freedom in the East Sea, and solving disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He affirmed that Vietnam will serve as bridge to connect France and other ASEAN member nations.

President Sang repeated his invitation to President Hollande to visit Vietnam, stressing that the visit will be an important milestone to upgrade the bilateral relations.

The French President said he hopes Vietnam will send its delegation to the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris in early December.-VNA