Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh hosted a reception for India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval in Hanoi on April 3, during which he declared that Vietnam consistently attaches great importance to developing traditional friendship and strategic partnership with India.

Vietnam supports India’s Act East Policy and its connections with the region and the world, while backing the country’s bid to become a permanent member of an expanded United Nations Security Council, he stated.

He suggested that the two sides promote the efficiency of existing cooperation mechanisms, including the Inter-Governmental Committee, political consultations, strategic dialogues defence policy dialogues and sub-committees on affiliation in trade, science, technology and education.

Both sides should work harder together to raise two-way trade to 15 billion USD by 2020 as defined by leaders of both countries, he said.

He also expressed hope that Vietnam and India continue their close coordination at regional and international forums, including the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN and related forums, as well as sub-regional partnership mechanisms and during the process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations.

He proposed that India continue supporting the stance of ASEAN and Vietnam on the East Sea issue, vowing that Vietnam backs India companies in exploring and exploiting oil and gas in Vietnam’s waters in the East Sea.

On his part, Ajit Kumar Doval affirmed that Vietnam is a key pillar in his country’s Act East Policy, agreeing that both sides should enhance cooperation in all fields from politics, economy, defence and security to education, culture and people-to-people contacts.

He stated that India supports the maintenance of peace, stability as well as maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, as well as the settling of disputes through peaceful measures without using or threatening to use forces, on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

It is crucial to fully observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work toward the early building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, he said.-VNA