French President’s visit to develop relations with Vietnam hinh anh 1French President Francois Hollande (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Paris (VNA) – The upcoming visit to Vietnam by French President Francois Hollande will develop the two countries’ relations, a diplomat has said.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son said the visit holds significant meaning as the two counties signed a strategic partnership agreement in September 2013 on the occasion of former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France.

Vietnam and France have spared no effort to enhance ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations in April 1973, two years before the end of the American war in Vietnam.

France has been among the most important partners of Vietnam in Europe over the past 40 years and was one of the first foreign countries that helped Vietnam heal the pain of war and normalise relations with the world, he said.

In 1993, French President Francois Mitterrand visited Vietnam, the first western President to visit the Southeast Asian country, during which he called on the US to normalise relations with Vietnam.

The European country also supported Vietnam to host the seventh Francophone Summit in 1997, held in Vietnam for the first time, he added.

The two countries’ rapport continued to grow with visits to Vietnam by President Jacques Chirac in 1997 and 2004, he said.

He added that since the beginning of this year, Vietnam has welcomed President of the National Assembly of France Claude Bartolone, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and now President Francois Hollande, which illustrates France’s special interest in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam.

During President Francois Hollande’s visit, the two countries will review their cooperation and seek further political ties and delegation exchanges.

They will also look to improve the efficiency of bilateral cooperation and accelerate joint economic projects, especially in infrastructure, climate change adaptation, science-technology, health and agriculture.

Both nations will sign a number of new cooperation agreements in politics, economics, science-technology, agriculture and judicial affairs as well as exchange regional and international issues of mutual concern.

He affirmed that he was optimistic about cooperation between the two countries given their historical and cultural attachment and the firm legal foundation to expand collaboration.

Additionally, the 300,000-strong Vietnamese community in France helps boost bilateral relations, he said.

Vietnam is also an active member of the Francophone Community and has signed several free trade agreements and integrated in the ASEAN Economic Community. As a result, Vietnam has become more attractive to French businesses, he affirmed.-VNA