PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomes UK foreign minister hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab at their meeting on September 30 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab in Hanoi on September 30.

PM Phuc welcomed the UK minister’s official visit to Vietnam at a time when Vietnam and the UK are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

Vietnam always considers the UK as a leading partner in Europe and the world, he affirmed, expressing his delight at the great strides in bilateral relations in the recent past.

PM Phuc spoke highly of the outcomes of the earlier talks between the UK minister and Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, especially the issuance of the “Joint Declaration on the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 years”, which specifies the vision and cooperation orientations in certain fields.

He emphasised that the UK is a big trade partner of Vietnam in Europe, suggesting the two countries to soon finalise, sign and enforce a bilateral free trade agreement so as to seize cooperation chances and support their post-pandemic growth recovery.

Vietnam always creates favourable conditions for UK investors and enterprises to enter the country to do business, capitalise on their advantages, and meet Vietnam’s development demand, he noted.

The Government leader affirmed the readiness to continue working with the UK to step up COVID-19 prevention and control, especially medicine and vaccine development, and facilitate all people’s access to them at a suitable cost.

The PM also hailed the cooperation between the two nations at multilateral forums and proposed them keep coordination, particularly when Vietnam is serving as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.

For his part, Raab said his visit to Vietnam is part of the UK Government’s policy on expanding ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The UK treasures and wishes to further intensify cooperation with Vietnam, he said, adding that it also hopes to coordinate closely with the Southeast Asian country in promoting connections between the UK and the region and in settling urgent global issues.

He also informed his host about the measures the countries’ officials had agreed on to strengthen ties in economy, trade, investment, development cooperation, education-training, science-technology, clean energy, and sustainable development so that the strategic partnership will live up to its potential and both sides’ aspirations.

Raab congratulated Vietnam on successfully curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the UK highly values its stature and role in the region and the world.

The two countries have maintained and will keep close cooperation at multilateral forums, the UN Security Council, and other international organisations, he said, voicing his hope that both sides will work together to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in the UK in 2021.

The UK supports Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance on the need to maintain peace, stability and security, resolve disputes via peaceful measures, and comply with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the official added.

On this occasion, the UK minister conveyed PM Boris Johnson’s invitation to PM Phuc to pay an official visit to the UK. The host leader also asked Raab to convey his invitation to his UK counterpart to visit Vietnam at a suitable time./.