Hanoi (VNA) - President Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for visiting Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong in Hanoi on June 27.

Welcoming Wong’s visit, President Phuc expressed his belief that it will make important contributions to promoting the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Australia.

He congratulated Australia on its successful organisation of the federal election and establishment of a new government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, affirming that Vietnam always treasures and works hard to foster its relations with Australia - a strategic partner in the South Pacific region, and a comprehensive strategic partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Briefing the guest on Vietnam’s achievements in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and switching to a new period of safely and flexibly adapting to and effectively controlling the pandemic, President Phuc thanked Australia for promptly providing Vietnam with COVID-19 vaccines, especially the vaccines for children from 5-11 years old.

He expressed his pleasure at the positive progress in the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership over the years, especially through delegation exchanges and economic cooperation, with two-way trade reaching 12.4 billion USD in 2021, up 50 percent year on year.

The Vietnamese leader proposed both sides continue to maintain sound collaboration in areas of politics, security-defence, trade-investment and ODA, and rapidly restore and further step up cooperation in tourism, education-training, people-to-people exchange, and cooperation as both countries have fully reopened their doors.

For her part, Wong said she is delighted to visit Vietnam for the first time in her capacity as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and affirmed that Australia highly valued the role and position of Vietnam in the region, and was committed to continuing to bolster the strategic partnership with Vietnam.

She said that on the foundation of the outcomes of the earlier talks with her Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son on the same day, the Australian side will coordinate closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies of Vietnam to make the Australia-Vietnam strategic partnership deeper, more practical and effective towards a new height in the context that the two sides are preparing for the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023, while expanding the ties to other promising areas such as climate change, green growth, and education-training.

Wong agreed with President Phuc’s proposal to continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, study and work in Australia and integrate into the local community, thus making positive contributions to the sound relationship between the two countries.

Regarding the regional and international situation, the minister affirmed that Australia attaches great importance to ASEAN's central role and the Australia-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership.

Australia will continue to pay attention to strengthening cooperation with the Mekong sub-region and support the maintenance of peace, stability as well as security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and the respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On the occasion, President Phuc asked the minister to convey his invitation to the Governor-General of Australia to visit Vietnam again at a convenient time./.