Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with his Cambodian and French counterpart on February 4 during his visit to Cambodia to attend the cremation of the late Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

At his meeting with Cambodian PM Hun Sen in Phnom Penh to discuss bilateral cooperation, Dung extended deep sympathy to the Cambodian Royal family, leaders and people over the death of the King Father, while affirming his resolve to foster the relations between the two countries.

The two PMs expressed their delight at the friendship and comprehensive bilateral cooperation over the past time, especially in economics, trade and investment.

They highly valued the joint activities that contributed to the success of the Vietnam–Cambodia Friendship Year in 2012 and the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, which helped raise public awareness, especially among the younger generations, about the friendship, cooperation and mutual support between the two peoples.

PM Dung invited Hun Sen to visit Vietnam this year.

At talks with his French counterpart Jean Marc Ayrault the same day, Dung said 2013 will be a good year for Vietnam and France to lift their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership level.

Dung added that Vietnam always attaches importance to developing traditional ties with France, one of Vietnam’s priority partner s in Europe.

He spoke highly of France ’s commitment to provide Vietnam with 340 million USD in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2013. He stressed his wish to accelerate bilateral economic ties, especially in energy, space and aeronautics, infrastructure and housing.

Both sides confirmed that the two countries will work together to successfully organise activities during the Vietnam-France, France-Vietnam Year 2013-2014, and agreed to develop the Hanoi Technology-Science University to international standards. -VNA