Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh, staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and Vietnamese people in Russia pay homage to late PM Phan Van Khai (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Many foreign diplomats and officials have hailed former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, who passed away on March 17 aged 85, as a dedicated leader and a great contributor to Vietnam’s ties with other countries.

At a commemoration ceremony held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia on March 21, Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Duc Manh recounted the life and career of the late PM, highlighting his enormous contributions to national development and protection.

Manh wrote in the book of condolences that PM Phan Van Khai paid great attention to external affairs and greatly contributed to the country’s international integration.

Expressing his condolences, Sergei Tolchenov, deputy director of the Third Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote that in Russia, people remember Phan Van Khai as a person who devoted his entire life to national liberation and development and promoting Vietnam’s prestige.

While holding high-ranking Party and State positions, he enhanced the two countries’ relations and helped to elevate bilateral ties to a strategic partnership, the official added.

At the respect paying ceremony held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Chile, representatives of the Chilean Foreign Ministry and the Chile-Vietnam culture institute recalled the visit to the South American nation by then PM Phan Van Khai in October 2002. They said the trip was a new milestone in bilateral relations, and he will always be remembered as one of Vietnam’s great leaders.

[Photos: Memorial, burial services held for former PM Phan Van Khai]

President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile Maya Fernández Allende, President of the Communist Party of Chile Guillermo Teillier del Valle and General Secretary of the Socialist Party of Chile Andres Santander Ortega sent messages of condolences to the Vietnamese Embassy.

At similar ceremonies in Belgium, Argentina and France from March 20 to 22, Vietnamese people, officials and foreign diplomats in the countries also paid tribute to the late Government leader.

Phan Van Khai was born in Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh City, on December 25, 1933. He served as the PM of Vietnam from September 1997 to June 2006.-VNA