Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on November 14 reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy to further the comprehensive partnership with Australia, for the sake of the people in both countries, as well as peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

Deputy PM Minh made the affirmation at a meeting with former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer who is on a visit to Hanoi to attend a conference on APEC in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the reception, the Deputy PM hailed Downer’s visit, saying it contributes to the conference’s success and is a highlight of the two countries’ 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The top diplomat also expressed his delight at the flourishing all-around cooperation, particularly in politics, economics and education and training, between the two sides over the past years, noting that Australia is the country’s major trading partner with two-way trade hitting five billion USD in 2012.

He appreciated Australian ODA provision for Vietnam as well as Downer’s contribution to the two nations’ relationship when he was in office from 1996-2000.

For his part, former Australian Foreign Minister Downer congratulated Minh on his new post as Deputy Prime Minister, believing that Minh will do his best to develop the two countries’ ties further in the time to come.

He highly appreciated positive developments in the cooperation between the two countries, both bilaterally and multilaterally, and pledged to contribute more to enhancing the current fine relationship.

The former FM hoped that Vietnam will have a successful conference this time, towards successfully hosting the APEC Year in 2017, which will help raise the country’s prestige in the world arena.-VNA