Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland  Simon Conveney (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh engaged in a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the high-level general debate at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Minh held the meetings on September 27 (New York time) with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, the foreign ministers of Malta, Morocco, Albania and El Salvador, and the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie of Canada.

The Deputy PM used the occasions to discuss measures to further expand economic-trade ties and increase mutual visits with the countries, and garner support for the early signing and approval of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement (EVFTA). He also sought the countries’ backing of Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2020-2021 tenure.
 
The foreign officials affirmed the importance that their countries attach to bilateral ties with Vietnam, as well as the support for Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

They offered deep condolences over the passing of President Tran Dai Quang.

Ireland’s Deputy PM and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Conveney proposed that the Prime Ministers of Ireland and Vietnam meet on the sidelines of the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). He also affirmed that Ireland will continue to provide development aid to Vietnam, which is the only country outside Africa that receives long-term aid of Ireland.

Ireland is willing to work with Vietnam in hi-tech agriculture, mine removal and preparations for peacekeeping activities, he said, adding that the country will sign and approve the EVFTA early. Ireland is considering Vietnam’s proposal on exempting visa for foreign passport holders, he said.

Malta’s Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela pledged to push for the early signing and ratification of the EVFTA, and urged the two countries to soon sign an MoU on adoption. He said Malta is ready to consider Vietnam’s specific proposals on investment promotion and protection and cooperation on education-training.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, affirmed Morocco’s support of Vietnam as a candidate for the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure. He suggested the two countries enhance coordination at multilateral diplomatic hubs in New York, Geneva and Vienna to promote issues of common concern and multilateralism.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh shakes hands with Foreign Minister of El Salvador Hugo Martinez (Photo: VNA)
 
El Salvador’ Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez handed over to Deputy PM Minh a diplomatic note affirming support of Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure, and expressed the wish to expand cooperation between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Canadian minister, Melanie Jolly, said Canada wants to cooperation closely with Vietnam in the framework of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and in promoting the French language, particularly at the Francophonie Summit slated for October this year in Armenia.-VNA