PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (1st L) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at a welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s attendance at the expanded G7 Summit reflects Japan’s and other G7 countries’ acknowledgement of the position the Southeast Asian nation holds in the world arena, said Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Speaking with the press following Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to Japan for a visit and to attend the expanded G7 Summit, Son noted that this is the first time in the 42-year history of the group Vietnam has been invited to its expanded summit.

The move also demonstrated the group’s trust in and appreciation of Vietnam’s role and sense of responsibility in handling regional and international issues such as sustainable development goals, economic connectivity, the world economic slowdown, development in the Mekong River basin, and ensuring a peaceful and stable environment, he said.

The Deputy FM added that major issues discussed at the G7 Summit and expanded G7 Summit conformed with Vietnam’s interests.

The country’s participation and constructive contributions received praise from those attending the summits as well as from the host Japan, he said.

In his speech delivered at the event, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s backing of Japanese initiatives in the agenda and contributed to the summit’s discussions, especially those on economic connectivity, climate change, peace, and regional and global stability.

The leader highlighted Vietnam’s readiness to share its development experience with less developed countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as to play a more active role in UN peace-keeping operations, Son said.

Vietnam also shared concerns raised by many countries about unilateral actions against international law and regional agreements such as the large-scale reclamation of man-made islands, changing the status quo and militarisation in the East Sea.

The PM affirmed Vietnam maintains the stance of addressing disputes by peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and calls for trust-building measures and preventive diplomacy and working towards a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The Deputy FM added that on the sidelines of the summit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc had bilateral meetings with leaders of countries of G7 and the expanded G7, and international organisations.

The PM called for support for Vietnam’s efforts to enhance its role at regional and international forums, including the country’s hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017 and its run for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 as well as for the post of UNESCO General Director during the 2017-2021 tenure.

The leader also appealed to partners to back Vietnam, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and joint efforts to ensure navigation and aviation security, and a peaceful and stable environment, respecting international law in the East Sea.

On the PM’s Japan visit, Deputy FM Son noted that this was the first trip to the country by Nguyen Xuan Phuc as head of the Vietnamese Government. He was also the first Vietnamese high-ranking leader to visit Japan after the 12 th National Party Congress, held earlier this year, which mirrored the thriving relationship between the two countries while reiterating Vietnam’s policy of prioritising the enhancement of the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership.

The two sides agreed to boost political trust through regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations and meetings on the sideline of international events, and by increasing the efficiency of bilateral dialogue mechanisms.

They agreed to promote economic connectivity through cooperation in investment, trade and official development assistance (ODA).

The first job is to implement the 110 billion USD credit plan to develop high-quality infrastructure in Asia and the Mekong-Japan Connectivity Initiative, among others.

Concerning climate change, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe announced non-refundable aid worth 300 million yen (2.5 million USD) to assist Vietnam in dealing with drought and salt water intrusion. He affirmed Japan will work with Vietnam to seek long term solutions and provide ODA for the country to deal with the problems.

The two sides will also strengthen bilateral collaboration in agriculture, personnel training, health care and people-to-people exchange, while working closely in issues of common concern at regional and international forums.

The two sides shared the international community’s deep concerns about East Sea situation and agreed that disputes should be settled by peaceful measures.-VNA