Vietnam is a strategic partner for India within ASEAN and the wider region, as well as an important pillar in India’s Look East Policy, visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee told Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on September 15.

During their meeting in Hanoi, the Indian President expressed his deep appreciation for Vietnam’s support for India at regional and international forums, and highlighted the progress the two sides have made in a number of fields during the implementation of their strategic partnership since 2007.

He said he believed both sides would boost their bilateral cooperation, benefitting both sides, due to the large potential for working together in more areas.

For his part, General Secretary Trong welcomed Mukherjee’s visit to Vietnam, saying it showed the President and the new government of India continued to place importance to developing the traditional friendship and strategic partnership with Vietnam.

He expressed his wish that the two countries continue to expand and strengthen cooperation in all fields, from politics, economics, culture, education, science and technology to people-to-people exchanges.

The Party leader suggested the two sides increase mutual coordination and support at multilateral, international and regional forums.

He called on India to continue supporting Vietnam’s stance on regional and international issues, including the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea in compliance with international law, taking account of the UN Charter, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the prompt establishment of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Trong affirmed Vietnam’s support for India’s oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the East Sea.

He suggested the two countries’ governments, ministries and localities actively implement the strategic partnership in all fields, particularly with regard to economics, trade, national security, science and technology, and education and training, including the early launch of a direct air route between Vietnam and India.-VNA