Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Source: VNA)
Ulan Bator (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh met with the foreign ministers of France, Italy and Ireland and the Swedish minister of education on July 15 within the framework of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

Receiving French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minh extended profound condolences to the French Government and people, and the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on July 14.

Vietnam appreciates the French Parliament’s ratification of the Vietnam-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and wishes that France will support the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, Deputy PM Minh said.

Jean-Marc Ayrault stated that French President Francois Holland will visit Vietnam in September, adding that this visit will help intensify the two countries’ strategic partnership in all fields, especially in economics.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM affirmed that the Government is willing to facilitate France’s investment in high technology, infrastructure, energy, transport, aviation, health, agriculture and the environment.

He asked France to maintain its ODA provision for Vietnam and help Vietnam gain access to loans from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) beyond 2017.

Talking to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Minh stated that Vietnam will create more favourable conditions for Italian enterprises to expand their investments in the fields of manufacturing, garment and textiles, footwear, wood processing, the support industry, construction materials, energy and food processing.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue.

At his meeting with Swedish Minister of Education Gustav Fridolin, Minh welcomed the Swedish Prime Minister’s proposal on the establishment of a strategic partnership in education-training and science-technology.

The Foreign Ministry will work with the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Science and Technology to study this proposal, he said.

He suggested Sweden support Vietnam’s access to the IDA loans as well as the World Bank’s building of a suitable repayment plan to help Vietnam have a sustainable repayment capacity.

Meanwhile, at the meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan, Deputy PM Minh welcomed the Irish President’s visit to Vietnam slated for late 2016 on the occasion of the 20 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

He spoke highly of the National Strategy on Development Cooperation with Vietnam in the 2011-2015 period initiated by the Irish Government, adding that he is willing to cooperate with Ireland in building and implementing the strategy for the next five years.

The Irish minister expressed his hope that the two countries will intensify cooperation in potential areas like culture, education and agriculture, and that Vietnam will help Ireland expand its exports to the country and Southeast Asia.-VNA