A delegation led by Saysomphone Phomvihane, Politburo member and Chairman of the Lao Front for National Construction Central Committee, pay their last respect to former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) – Many diplomatic corps came to the Thong Nhat Hall in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi-based International Convention Centre on March 21 to pay their last respect to former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, who passed away on March 17.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps praised the former leader’s contributions to Vietnam’s national construction and development, saying he created a firm foundation for the development of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and countries in the region and the world, helping elevate Vietnam’s position in the international arena.

Writing in the funeral book, Saysomphone Phomvihane, Politburo member and Chairman of the Lao Front for National Construction Central Committee, highlighted former PM Khai’s contributions to the Laos-Vietnam relationship.

Aleksei Popov, Russia’s Consul General to HCM City, wrote in the funeral book that former PM Khai has been known in Russia as an eminent leader who greatly contributed to Vietnam’s development as well as the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Vietnam, helping advance the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda also expressed his deep sympathy to the Vietnamese Government and people as well as the former PM’s family over his death, saying PM Shinzo Abe sent a letter of condolences to the deceased’s family and Vietnamese leaders.

The diplomat noted the late leader’s role in laying a foundation for the Japan-Vietnam friendship, especially economic cooperation.

Khai created the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative through which the two countries have worked together for a favourable investment environment in each nation, he said, emphasising that Japan thanks the former Vietnamese leader for his devotions.

Im Hen, Cambodian Consul General to HCM City, said the passing of former PM Khai is a great loss of the Vietnamese people. The late leader led the country in its path of development and helped enhance the friendship and solidarity between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Consul General in HCM City Leow Siu Lin said during his term of office, former PM Khai maintained close-knit relations with Singaporean leaders and made marked contributions to bilateral diplomatic ties.

During his visit to Singapore in March 2004, Khai and Singapore’s senior leaders reached consensus on the initiative connecting the two economies, laying a foundation for the bilateral cooperation, she said, adding that the former leader also created a firm basis for Vietnam to affirm its position in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

By the end of March 21, a total of 2,046 delegations with 108,000 people came to the two venues to pay tribute to former PM Phan Van Khai.

A memorial service will begin from 7:30 on March 22 at the two venues and the burial ceremony will take place at 11:00 the same day in his homeland in Tan Thong Hoi commune, Cu Chi district, HCM City.-VNA