FM Bui Thanh Son receives Indian diplomat hinh anh 1At the 12th Political Consultation between the foreign ministries of Vietnam and India. (Photo:  VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on May 30 hosted a reception for Secretary (East) of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Saurabh Kumar, who has been in Vietnam to co-chair the 12th Political Consultation and the 9th Strategic Dialogue between the two foreign ministries.

During the meeting, Son congratulated India on its important achievements in national construction and development, COVID-19 prevention and control, and economic recovery.

He suggested the two sides continue to work together to promote important cooperation pillars such as politics - diplomacy, defence - security, trade - investment, science - technology, culture and people-to-people exchange, especially tourism cooperation in the context that the two countries have opened their borders.

For his part, Kumar affirmed that India always considers Vietnam an important pillar in its "Act East" policy, and pledged to closely coordinate in further stepping up the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries in the time to come.

Son asked Kumar to convey his invitation to Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar to visit Vietnam and co-chair the 18th meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Committee on Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, scheduled to take place in the second half of 2022.

The same day morning, Vietnamese Standing Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu and Saurabh Kumar co-chaired the 12th Political Consultation and the 9th Strategic Dialogue between the two foreign ministries.

The two sides had frank and open discussions on bilateral cooperation, as well as on regional and international issues of common concern.

They agreed that the Vietnam – India comprehensive strategic partnership has continued to develop strongly in different fields. They noted with pleasure practical and effective cooperation in defence – security, and two-way trade hitting 13.2 billion USD in 2021, and is on track towards the target of 15 billion USD.

Vu suggested the two sides coordinate well to prepare for high-level visits and cooperation mechanisms in the coming time, while highly evaluating India's support in medical equipment and technology transfer for vaccine production, which has helped Vietnam overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

He expressed his hope that the Indian side will continue to create favourable conditions for the bilateral trade, and increase investment in Vietnam in the spheres of oil and gas, auto supporting industry, information technology, renewable energy, hi-tech agriculture and innovation.

Kumar stressed that India always attaches importance to and wishes to continuously develop the comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam. He agreed to closely coordinate with ministries, sectors and localities of Vietnam to organise meaningful activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The two sides expressed satisfaction and agreed to continue close coordination and mutual support at international and regional forums, especially at the United Nations and within the framework of ASEAN-India cooperation.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides agreed on the necessity to maintain peace, stability, cooperation, development and respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and respect for sovereign and sovereign rights of countries and freedom right of aviation and navigation./.