President’s visits to Italy, Vatican a success: Deputy FM hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang meets Italian PM Matteo Renzi (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Italy and the Vatican last week were a success, affirming the determination of both sides to forge stronger Vietnam-Italy ties, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

The diplomat said that the two sides agreed to maintain regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations and existing cooperation mechanisms among ministries and sectors, including deputy ministerial dialogues between the two countries’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.

The two sides pledged to work together in implementing a plan of action to carry out the bilateral strategic partnership in 2017-2018 as well as affiliation programmes signed during the visit, while improving the effectiveness of the partnership through Parties, parliaments and localities.

They also affirmed to aid each other at multilateral mechanisms and forums, including the United Nations, Asia-Europe Meeting, ASEAN-EU Summit, said the Deputy FM, who revealed that Italy supports Vietnam in strengthening relations with the EU and pledges to advocate the early signing of a free trade deal between the EU and Vietnam.

President Tran Dai Quang and Italian leaders concurred to prioritise partnerships in climate change, along with other areas such as vocational training, environmental protection, water resource management and flood alerts.

The two countries will strive to raise two-way trade to 6 billion USD in 2017-2018 from the current 4.3 billion USD, while fostering investment in fields of Italy’s strength and Vietnam’s demand, including machinery manufacturing, garment and textile, footwear, wood processing, energy and food processing, said Son.

He noted that the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum was attended by representatives from nearly 300 Italian firms, manifesting the interest of the country’s business community in Vietnam. The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Italy’s federation of owners also signed a memorandum of understanding.

Science and technology cooperation is also a bright spot in bilateral ties, said Deputy FM Son, noting that the two sides vowed to work together in commencing their partnership programme in the field for 2017-2019 as well as the deal between Vietnam’s Academy of Science and Technology and the Italy National Institute.

Vietnamese and Italian leaders agreed to continue fostering cooperation in security and defence through the sharing of information in UN peacekeeping operations and combatting crimes, as well as aviation and air force personnel training.

President Tran Dai Quang also met with left-wing party leaders to strengthen friendship between people of both countries.

During his stay in Italy from November 21-24, the State leader also met with the Vietnamese community in Italy. Currently, about 4,000 Vietnamese people live in Italy.

In his visit to Vatican on November 23, President Tran Dai Quang met with Pope Francis and Prime Minister Pietro Parolin who lauded Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and welcomed Vietnam’s efforts in completing policies of religious freedom.

The two sides agreed that the Vietnam Catholic Church should continue guiding followers to practice the gospel and become good Catholics, good citizens and patriots.

They shared the hope that the Church will contribute to the national construction and development of Vietnam, while operating in line with the country’s law, said Deputy FM Son.-VNA