Speaker of India’s Lower House Sumitra Mahajan (L) and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan sign a cooperation agreement between the two parliaments (Photo: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – Speaker of India’s Lower House Sumitra Mahajan and visiting National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan agreed on the need to enhance parliamentary relations during their talks at the Indian parliament’s headquarters in New Delhi on late December 9.

They said the enhancement can be made through increasing exchanges in lawmaking and between parliamentary friendship groups and parliamentary agencies.

Chairwoman Ngan, who is on an official visit to India, congratulated India on immense development achievements, affirming that Vietnam always considers this country as a traditional and trustworthy friend. She also highly valued recent important strides in the two countries’ multifaceted cooperation.

She lauded growing ties between their legislative bodies, noting that the Vietnamese NA wants to bolster bilateral connections with its Indian counterpart at regional and international forums.

Appreciating the Indian parliament’s support to the time-honoured friendship with Vietnam over the past years, she welcomed the two legislatures’ signing of a cooperation agreement which will serve as an important legal framework for bilateral cooperation.

Both sides should step up coordination in supervising and promoting the effective implementation of inked high-level agreements, especially on the pillars of politics, economics, defence-security, trade-investment, science-technology, and culture-education.

They need to foster visits at high levels, and between parliamentary agencies, parliamentary friendship groups, and parliamentarians to deepen mutual trust and understanding while exchanging lawmaking and supervision experience, Ngan said.

She also asked them to continue bringing into play the consultation mechanism and working closely at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting.

On this occasion, she invited Speaker of India’s Lower House Sumitra Mahajan to re-visit Vietnam in the near future.

For her part, Mahajan described Ngan’s visit as significant amidst their countries are preparing to celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations and 10 years of the strategic partnership. She also congratulated her guest on her election as the first NA Chairwoman of Vietnam.

She noted that Vietnam and India boast time-tested relations, rejoicing at thriving bilateral ties. The countries share many common values and cultural similarities and will remain each other’s partners in the region and at international forums.

Echoing Ngan’s view, she said economic and trade links between their nations can develop more strongly. They can also expand partnerships in many other spheres such as education, culture and archaeology.

At the talks, Mahajan affirmed India’s support for Vietnam’s viewpoints on the East Sea issues, underlining that all countries in the region need to adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.

Speaking highly of the Southeast Asian nation’s development attainments in a short period of time, she said she is willing to re-visit Vietnam – the country of late President Ho Chi Minh, whom the Indian people respect.

Following the talks, Chairwoman Ngan and Speaker Mahajan witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese NA and India’s Lower House, and an agreement on cooperation in peaceful use of atomic energy between the two governments.

A memorandum of understanding between the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute and India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, and another on opening a Vietnam-India air route between Vietjet Air and Indian Air were also inked in their presence.

Also on December 9, the top legislator of Vietnam met with Indian Vice President and Chairman of the Senate Mohammad Hamid Ansari at the latter’s residence.

She said the close-knit relationship between Vietnam and India was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It has been nurtured by the countries’ following leaders and peoples.

Appreciating the Indian Senate’s support for the country’s traditional amity and strategic partnership, which was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership last September, with Vietnam, she highlighted the progress in their legislative bodies.

The Vietnamese NA wants to strengthen bilateral connections and closely cooperate with the Indian parliament at regional and international forums, she said, calling on both sides to beef up affiliation in realising reached high-level agreements, exchanging delegations, and promoting coordination at multilateral forums.

Meanwhile, Ansari highlighted the longstanding and strong foundation of the Indian-Vietnamese ties, valuing Vietnam’s development accomplishments and progress in ensuring human rights.

India always attaches importance to its relations with ASEAN member nations and its Government is pushing forward with the “Act East” policy, in which Vietnam is an important pillar, he noted.

It supports peace to be kept between countries in the region and around the world, along with the settlement of international disputes, including the East Sea issues, by peaceful means on the basis of the UN Charter and international law, he added.

Agreeing on the host’s opinions, the visiting leader said Vietnam advocates India’s “Act East” policy and increasing presence in and connectivity with Southeast Asia and backs India in a bid to win a deserving position in the global arena.

Vietnam also supports India’s candidacy for a permanent membership in the UN Security Council when this Council admits more permanent members, as well as its participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum when APEC removes the suspension of accepting new members with the APEC member economies’ consent, Ngan said.-VNA