Vietnam’s diplomatic agencies around the globe have held get-togethers for overseas Vietnamese (OV) on the threshold of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday which falls on January 31.

The Vietnamese Embassy in the US hosted a pre-Tet meeting with some 250 OVs in the capital Washington D.C. on January 26.

Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong noted that 2013 was a special year for Vietnam–US relations. They elevated their ties to a comprehensive partnership level during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US in July.

He added that 2014 marks 20 years since former US President Bill Clinton declared the normalisation of its trade ties with Vietnam (February 3, 2014). Since then, bilateral relations have enjoyed great strides, particularly in economics, trade, investment, education–training and tourism.

The diplomat said the Vietnamese community of two million in the US is growing and has been actively contributing to the development of Vietnam–US relations.

At a similar event held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the Czech Republic on the same day, Ambassador Truong Manh Son appreciated the considerable achievements made by the Vietnamese community during its integration with the host society. Notably, the community has been recognised by the Czech Government as the 14th ethnic minority group of the country.

He expressed his hope that 2013 attainments will fuel their efforts in 2014 so as to build a stronger community and make greater integration.

Hundreds of overseas Vietnamese across the UK and representatives from the UK-Vietnam Friendship Association and the Vietnam-UK Network celebrated Vietnam’s biggest traditional event on January 26.

Addressing the get-together held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK, Ambassador Vu Quang Minh said 2013 not only marked the 40th founding anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic ties but also the 100th anniversary since Uncle Ho set foot in the UK’s coastal town of Newhaven.

A flurry of activities were undertaken to mark such important events, including the UK visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the invitation of Prime Minister David Cameron, the Ambassador noted.

Over the past year, the Vietnamese community in the UK actively participated in many charitable activities to support disadvantaged people in Vietnam’s remote areas, Minh said.

The same day, the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel held a get-together for overseas Vietnamese in the country to celebrate the event.

Ambassador Ta Duy Chinh underlined the new development in friendship and wide-ranging cooperation between Vietnam and Israel.

Sharing the joyful Tet holiday, the Vietnamese community in Laos converged at a friendly meeting held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Vientiane to mark the festive occasion.

Ambassador Nguyen Manh Hung highlighted the deep and wide development in the Vietnam-Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, noting that annual two-way trade exceeded one billion USD for the first time last year.

Besides working together to complete the construction and upgrade of the border marker system along the two nations’ shared border, Vietnam and Laos have signed many cooperation agreements and put into operation a number of projects.

Also on January 26, the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia organised a get-together with local Vietnamese people.

Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao wished the community a successful year in all fields, while asking them to work more for the fine relations between Vietnam and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Consulate General in Sydney, Australia, also had a meeting with expatriates on January 25.

Consul General Mai Phuoc Dung underlined diplomatic, economic and educational accomplishments between both countries as well as activities to mark the 40th anniversary of Vietnam–Australia diplomatic ties (1973 - 2013).

He deemed the solidarity of the Vietnamese community as an important factor for Vietnam’s development.

The Vietnamese Embassy in New Zealand held a get-together to celebrate the Lunar New Year festival on January 25 in Wellington, drawing Vietnamese people living and working there.-VNA