Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Turkey will cooperate further for mutual development, thanks to their existing potential and the resolve of their leaders and people.

The affirmation was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam in an article published in Vietnam News Agency’s Tin Tuc newspaper on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (June 7, 1978-2018).

Nam recalled a speech by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during his visit to Vietnam on August 23, 2017, in which the Turkish leader had expressed his admiration for Vietnamese history in its nation building and safeguarding cause and affirmed Turkey considers Vietnam a nation with robust growth and an increasingly important position in the region, and one of Turkey’s reliable partners in Asia and ASEAN. The two countries have cooperation opportunities as they hold a lot of similarities.

The Prime Minister’s speech demonstrated his respect for Vietnam and highlighted the close connectivity of the two countries over the past four decades, since they set up their diplomatic ties on June 7, 1978, Nam wrote.

According to the official, despite geographical distance, Vietnam and Turkey share similarities in their history and cultural diversity. Located in both Asia and Europe, Turkey is a member of the Group of Twenty (G20) which comprises the 20 most developed nations and has big influence on relations between nations in the Middle East and Asia. Meanwhile, with its foreign policy of international integration, Vietnam is becoming an important link in a large economic network with 59 partners, including 15 G20 member states.

The two countries hold many advantages to cooperate and support each other. Two-way trade has increased over the years, exceeding 2 billion USD in 2017, of which 1.9 billion USD came from Vietnam’s exports. Turkey runs 16 investment projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of more than 1 billion USD.

Nam noted that an important foundation for closer cooperation between Vietnam and Turkey is their political trust. Both sides maintain the exchange of delegations, with PM Yildirim’s Vietnam visit marking a turning point in bilateral relations as this was the first time a Turkish Prime Minister had visited Vietnam.

Visits by senior officials and bilateral cooperation mechanisms such as meetings of the Joint Committee and political consultations have helped intensify the two countries’ ties.

In addition, the two countries have supported each other at regional and international forums. Turkey was one of the first countries to back Vietnam’s candidacy to a non-permanent member seat of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021. They both pay much attention to and coordinate in fighting corruption and Islamic extremism, the article said.

In July 2016, Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines opened a direct flight connecting Istanbul and Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with one flight a day each. The air routes not only act as a new transit route from Vietnam to other countries around the world, especially in the Middle East and Africa, but also intensify people-to-people exchanges.

The Deputy Foreign Minister said that several diplomatic, economic, cultural and tourism activities will be held this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties. They are expected to help boost bilateral relations.

This is also a chance for Vietnam to promote its culture and tourism to Turkey, Nam noted, adding that achievements gained by the two countries over the past 40 years are a foundation for them to lift their ties to a new height.-VNA