Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Huynh Ngoc Son has proposed strengthening all-level exchanges between Vietnamese legislature and National Council of the Austrian parliament.

Vietnam wants to continue consultation mechanisms and working closely with Austria at multilateral forums, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting, Son said at talks with Second President of the Austrian National Council Karlheinz Kopf in Vienne during his September 11-13 visit.

He suggested the council continue backing the supply of official development assistance to Vietnam as the sum is working to the advantage of the country, evidenced by progresses in national defence-security, health care, environment, and fire fighting.

Briefing his host of the Vietnamese NA’s operations, Son said the body is now made up of 498 deputies, 24.4 percent of them are females and over 30 percent are working full-time.

In a democratic and transparent manner, the legislature is doing quite well in lawmaking, supervision and deciding on national issues of significance, he confirmed.

Son welcomed the EU’s statement on the East Sea issue on May 8, and voiced hope that Austria will do more for regional stability and maritime safety in the East Sea while backing Vietnam’s peaceful settlement of disputes at sea in compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

The Vice Chairman also took the occasion to ask for Austria’s legal advices to Vietnam.

Son also invited his host to attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union slated for next March in Hanoi.

Karlheinz Kopf, for his part, expressed his hope that the Vietnam – EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will be approved during his March visit to Vietnam, and the negotiations on the Vietnam – EU free trade agreement will end this October as scheduled.

He voiced his support to the EU in the recognition of Vietnam as a market economy.

About the East Sea issue, Kopf said he is content with Vietnam’s stance on settling disputes by international law, adding that Austria plays a key role in the EU’s issuance of the statement.

During the stay, Son also met with Mayor of Wiener Neustadt city Bernhard Muller.-VNA