Outgoing Dutch Ambassador Joop Scheffers said he believes that the Netherlands and Vietnam will have closer cooperation in the future after enjoying rapid progress in their ties over the past five years.

The diplomat was received by President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on July 10.

Scheffers affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of the Netherlands and will be prioritied in his country’s provision of ODA, technical assistance in agriculture and water management and education cooperation.

He also noted the productive cooperation in shipbuilding between the two countries’ economic groups.

The host President highly valued contributions made by the diplomat during his five-year tenure to the two countries’ friendship.

Vietnam always treasures its ties with the Netherlands, he affirmed, adding that the two countries hold untapped potential for partnership in agriculture, trade, and shipbuilding.

The President expressed wishes to receive support from the Netherlands for Vietnam’s early signing of a free trade agreement with the European Union, which is expected to help further trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands and the EU as a whole.

He also took this occasion to update the diplomat on the latest developments in the East Sea situation following China’s illegal positioning of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

He confirmed Vietnam’s consistent stance of solving these disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, wishing that the Netherlands will back this standpoint.-VNA