President Truong Tan Sang has said Vietnam attaches special importance to the role of the European Union (EU), expressing his belief that bilateral cooperation will further develop in the future.

At a reception for visiting European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso in Hanoi on August 25, President Sang suggested the EC leader support the Vietnam-EU negotiations for the signing of a bilateral free trade agreement by late this year.

The economic-trade relations between Vietnam and the EU will see gigantic developments as the agreement is signed, he said.

For his part, Barroso said he is impressed at the dynamic development of Vietnam in all aspects.

He affirmed that the EU always treasures its ties with Vietnam , adding there is great potential for the two sides to develop their relationship in the time to come.

Regarding the East Sea situation, both host and guest agreed that emerging issues in the East Sea must be solved in respect for international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.-VNA