Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh paid a one-day visit to Thailand on Feb. 6 at the invitation of his Thai counterpart Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

FM Minh paid a courtesy visit to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who agreed that both countries should discuss ways to beef up bilateral cooperation in specific areas as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.

The Vietnamese FM affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of attaching importance to its neighbouring relations with Thailand.

He thanked the Thai Government for facilitating the overseas Vietnamese community’s operations in the country.

At the talks with his Thai counterpart Tovichakchaikul, the two FMs agreed to speed up the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries’ leaders.

They affirmed to implement the existing cooperation mechanisms and agreed to accelerate the second joint cabinet meeting this year.

Regarding defence and security cooperation, the two sides will increase sea joint patrols and the fight against trans-national crimes and international terrorism and commit not to permit any organisations and individuals to use one country’s territory to harm other country’s security and order.

On trade and investment, the two sides were unanimous in bringing two-way trade to more than 7 billion USD in 2012 and facilitating their businesses to bring into play the efficiency of the East-West Economic Corridor.

Both sides discussed cooperation in agriculture, labour and tourism among other fields.

FM Minh proposed Thailand promptly free Vietnamese fishermen who were seized by Thailand over recent past and both sides build an appropriate mechanism and regulation to handle cases of the two countries’ fishing vessels and fishermen violating each other’s territory in accordance with each country’s law and on the foundation of the two countries’ friendship.

On the East Sea issue, the two sides underlined the necessity to ensure peace, stability and maritime security and safety and freedom in the East Sea and settle disputes with peaceful measures and abide by international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the building of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Both sides also agreed to coordinate and cooperate with other ASEAN nations to build an ASEAN Community of solidarity and strength by 2015.

They highlighted the results of the third tripartite meeting on the Malaysia-Thailand-Vietnam Overlapping Continental Shelf Claim Area that took place on Jan. 15-18, 2012.

The two sides reached an agreement on further collaborating with relevant countries to raise the efficiency of the cooperation mechanism in the Mekong sub-region.

They agreed on the necessity for using the Mekong river water resources in a sustainable way for all countries in the sub-region.-Enditem