President Truong Tan Sang (L) and Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko (R) (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – President Truong Tan Sang and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko held talks in Hanoi on December 9, discussing ways to further lift economic and trade ties to a new height.

It is the first foreign trip by President Lukashenko since his re-election.

Expressing his appreciation for Vietnam’s role in the region and the world, the Belarusian President affirmed that Belarus considers Vietnam a close friend, a strategic partner and one of the priorities in Asia in its external relations.

President Sang expressed his belief that under the leadership of the President, the Belarusian people will reap more successes in the national construction and development.

The two Presidents pledged their determination to foster the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two peoples.

They agreed to continue facilitating the exchange of all-level visits to strengthen political trust, boosting links between the two legislative bodies and in the economic, trade and investment areas, while working closely together at international forums such as the United Nations (UN) and the Non-Aligned Movement for each country’s interest and a world of peace, stability and prosperity.

Both sides promised to improve the efficiency of the Inter-governmental Committee mechanism, back import-export activities and extend collaboration in industry and farming.

The Vietnamese President proposed intensifying industrial cooperation, particularly in Belarus’s strong industries such as chemicals, engineering, automobile assembly.

He also called for joint-ventures to process coffee, milk and farm produce, and Belarus’s help in training agricultural experts.

Stressing the significance of the free trade agreement signed between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union in May, they vowed to effectively realise the deal by raising corporate awareness of its terms.

The two Presidents consented to expanding bilateral ties across science-technology, national defence, education, health care, culture, sport, tourism and labour.

In such spirit, the Belarusian President spoke highly of Vietnam’s unilateral visa exemption for Belarusian citizens from July 1, 2015 and agreed to simplify visa procedures for Vietnamese nationals.

He informed his host that Belarus will supply lorries and trucks to the Vietnamese market this year, adding that his country is ready to help Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City build subways while seeking partnerships in oil and gas, medicines, information technology and military technique.

The Vietnamese President asked Belarus to continue providing support for the Vietnamese community in the country.

Turning to regional and global issues of shared concern, the leaders underscored the UN’s central role in ensuring global peace, security and sustainable growth and expressed their support of efforts to improve the UN’s operation efficiency.

The guest confirmed his backing of Vietnam’s stance on the settlement of territorial disputes, including the East Sea dispute by peaceful means without the use of force or threat to use force in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and working towards an early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Host and guest expressed their belief that the visit would create a new impetus to strengthen Vietnam-Belarus ties in all aspects to meet aspirations of the two peoples, for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

President Lukashenso invited President Sang to visit Belarus in the foreseeable future. The host accepted the invitation with pleasure and the timing of the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channel.

Following the talks, host and guest signed a joint statement on strengthening and developing comprehensive ties between Vietnam and Belarus.

They later witnessed the signing of several agreements on economic, scientific, educational and cultural cooperation for 2016-2018, and for 2016-2020.-VNA