Brussel (VNA) – Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh affirmed that Vietnam highly values its strategic partnership with the EU, during his recent working sessions with leaders of the European Commission (EC) and Parliament.

These were part of his trip to Belgium to attend the Europa Connectivity Forum held by the EC.

The host leaders include Vice President of the European Parliament (EP) Dimitrios Papadimoulis, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom, and Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange.

Expressing his delight at growing bilateral ties, including the signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), Binh suggested both sides work closely together to step up the EP’s ratification of the two agreements for the benefit of the people of Vietnam and EP member states.

On regional and global issues, he exchanged ideas with the hosts about recent violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea, and called on the EU to support Vietnam’s stance of settling the disputes by peaceful means without use of force or threat to use force in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The European leaders expressed wish to boost ties with Vietnam and vowed to do their best to speed up the ratification of the two pacts.

The EU side asked Vietnam to consider adopting the International Labour Organisation’s several conventions.

Binh affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to global integration with specific roadmap, including fine-tuning domestic laws in line with international law and practices such as the ILO’s conventions No. 98, 105 and 87.

On the East Sea issue, EC and EP leaders affirmed their support for Vietnam’s stance, holding that disputes should be settled via negotiations without use of force or threat to use force in line with international law, for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

Earlier on September 26, Binh also delivered a keynote speech at the Europa Connectivity Forum./.