Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Hanoi on October 6.

The PM congratulated the southwest Asian country on the removal of international sanctions and a nuclear deal secured with the P5+1, saying the new situation opens up great cooperation opportunities for Vietnam and Iran.

Vietnam treasures the mutually-beneficial ties with Iran, he said, expressing his belief that President Hassan Rouhani ’s visit will open up a new chapter in the two countries’ relations.

PM Phuc lauded the outcomes of the two Presidents’ talks earlier during the day and agreements reached during the visit so far, and pledged to lead the Government in implementing the agreements, towards the goal of lifting bilateral trade turnover to 2 billion USD.

Specifically, the PM suggested the sides focus on facilitating trade activities, particularly the export of tea, seafood, rice, cashew, coffee, peppercorns, apparel, and rubber from Vietnam as well as the shipments of plastic materials, metal, chemicals, ores, machinery, dried fruit and carpets from Iran.

He proposed elevating rice trade to the State level to stabilize the market in the long-term, adding that he supports a joint project between Iran and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on the cultivation of Iranian long-grain rice in Vietnam for export to Iran.

The PM urged stronger cooperation in IT and telecommunications, asking the Iranian Government to facilitate the operation of Vietnamese telecom companies in Iran.

He also requested further support from the Iranian side for PetroVietnam in resuming oil exploration at the Danan oil block in Iran.

PM Phuc noted that Vietnam’s participation in a range of free trade agreements will provide opportunities for foreign investors and businesses, including those from Iran.

Concerning the East Sea issue, the PM urged Iran to continue supporting the maintenance of peace, stability, security, freedom and safety of navigation and aviation; the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC) and efforts to achieve a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) within 2017.

For his part, Hassan Rouhani stressed that his ongoing visit demonstrates the strong will of Iranian leaders in enhancing the relationship with Vietnam.

The President said Iran wants to work together with Vietnam in realizing agreements secured by the two countries’ inter-governmental committee, particularly in the fields of energy, oil and gas, IT and agriculture.

He agreed with his host on facilitating the connectivity of Vietnamese and Iranian businesses, adding that Iran is willing to supply Vietnam with construction materials and join cooperation projects in building thermo-power plants, water supply systems, and roads and bridges.

He thanked Vietnam for supporting his country in becoming a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

President Hassan Rouhani said he hopes the two countries accelerate negotiations to sign a bilateral free trade pact and suggested the establishment of a maritime route between the two countries.

He described PetroVietnam’s oil exploration project in Danan oil block is a symbol of bilateral cooperation, adding that the two sides should work together to resume the project.

The President expressed joy at the signing of several deals between Vietnamese and Iranian central banks, which he said will stimulate the two countries’ comprehensive cooperation.

He also suggested stronger connection in cultural exchange, tourism and education, stating that more scholarships will be offered for Vietnamese students.

At the meeting, PM Phuc extended his invitation to visit Vietnam to Iran's First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri.-VNA