Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh meets Bulgarian President hinh anh 1Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (R) meets with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in Sofia on October 1 (Photo: VNA)

Sofia (VNA) – Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev expressed their countries’ wish to enhance bilateral cooperation during a meeting in Sofia on October 1.

Deputy PM Binh, now on an official visit to Bulgaria from September 29 to October 2, highly valued the strides in the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries. He also spoke highly of the host President’s support for bilateral ties over the past years.

Informing the host on the outcomes of the talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Tomislav Donchev, Binh expressed his delight that both sides agreed on many measures to further develop bilateral ties in multiple spheres like politics, defence – security, trade – investment, agriculture, labour, and culture – education.

He also asked Bulgaria to accelerate the EU’s ratification of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) so as to create greater momentum for economic links.

President Radev said the Bulgarian people treasure the close-knit relationship between the two nations, affirming that Vietnam is one of the important partners of his country in Southeast Asia.

He suggested both sides increase the exchange of visits at all levels to step up bilateral partnerships, especially in economy, trade and investment.

The host leader also highly valued contributions to the two countries’ relations by the Vietnamese community and the more than 30,000 Vietnamese who received training in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria always supports stronger links between Vietnam and the EU and hopes that the two countries will better capitalise on their advantages and cooperation potential to benefit both peoples, he said.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed measures to reinforce coordination at multilateral forums and contribute to peace and stability in their respective regions and the world. They voiced their support for the peaceful settlement of the East Sea issue, the respect for international law, and the ensuring of security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters in line with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On this occasion, Deputy PM Binh conveyed Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong’s invitation to President Radev to visit Vietnam in 2020, when the countries will mark 70 years of their diplomatic relationship.

Also on October 1, Deputy PM Binh had a meeting with Bulgarian Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Binh said in the time ahead, the countries should bolster connections in politics – diplomacy and economy – trade – investment. Besides, they also need to work closely together to prepare for activities marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

The Vietnamese official asked both sides to soon organise the 24th meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee for economic, trade and scientific cooperation, while stepping up trade promotion activities to seek chances for partnership in the fields of their strength.

The two sides agreed to soon sign cooperation deals such as an agreement on education cooperation for 2019 – 2022, an agreement on cultural cooperation for 2019 – 2021, and another on tourism cooperation for 2020 – 2022 so as to create a legal framework for fostering multifaceted connections.

For her part, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Zaharieva stated Bulgaria backs and will strive to push the ratification and enforcement of the EVFTA and the EVIPA, thus further fostering economic, trade and investment ties between Vietnam and EU members, including Bulgaria.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation at international forums while discussing coordination to contribute to global and regional peace and stability, including in the East Sea. They affirmed their support for the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, the respect for international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, the maintenance of navigation and aviation freedom, and multilateral cooperation in dealing with common challenges.

During his visit, Deputy PM Binh met with Chairwoman of the Bulgarian National Assembly (NA)’s legal affairs committee Anna Aleksandrova and the Bulgaria – Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group.

At the event, Binh hailed the Bulgarian NA and the group’s contributions to the two countries’ relations, calling on the two NAs to continue helping with the implementation of the signed agreements and set up new cooperation directions for the countries.

He also conveyed Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to visit Vietnam to the chairperson of the Bulgarian parliament.

Aleksandrova said the Bulgarian NA hopes to tighten collaboration with the Vietnamese side and will work closely with the Southeast Asian nation in the celebration of the two countries’ 70-year diplomatic relationship in 2020. 

It also supports the EVFTA and EVIPA ratification, as well as the enhancement of the two peoples’ friendship and relations in a more effective manner, she added./.