Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will continue pursuing a policy of befriending all countries, multilateralising and diversifying relations on the basis of independence, self-reliance and international law, stated Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at a New Year talk with the media.

Vietnam aims to foster common interests of all nations to maintain peace and stability, said the Deputy PM, adding that the country will continue deepening ties with its strategic and comprehensive partners.

Vietnam will also promote its relations with other countries, especially neighbours and those with important roles in the world, said Minh.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he confirmed that Vietnam will speed up the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures via negotiations, such as those being undertaken with China on sea area off the Tonkin Gulf as well as with Indonesia and Malaysia on the delimitation of continental shelves.

Looking back on achievements in foreign affairs in 2016, the Deputy PM said that last year saw success and the launching of external relations policies set by the 12th Party Congress.

Bilaterally, Vietnam boosted its strategic and comprehensive partnerships through high-ranking visit exchanges with China, the US, France and India. Vietnam also fostered ties with neighbouring countries, he added.

Meanwhile, multilateral diplomatic activities were effective, said Deputy PM Minh, noting that Vietnam joined important mechanisms of the United Nations.

Vietnam worked closely with other ASEAN member countries to work towards building the ASEAN Community.

The Deputy PM said that 2016 was also a successful year for cultural and economic diplomacy, while citizen protection was assured.

On preparations for hosting the APEC Year 2017, the Deputy PM noted that Vietnam started the work in 2015 and set up a National Committee for APEC 2017.

Preparations for APEC 2017, especially those related to content and infrastructure, have been basically completed, he noted, adding that ministries, sectors and localities have worked together to prepare for the event.

Hundreds of events and activities will be held within the APEC 2017 in the central province of Da Nang, including the APEC Week 2017 which is expected to gather nearly 10,000 delegates.-VNA