Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left Paris on September 26, successfully concluding his official visit to France. He is now heading to the US for the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations.

While in France, PM Dung held talks with his host Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and signed with him a joint statement on the lifting of bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership. He also met with President Francois Hollande and Senate President Jean-Pierre Bel.

He also received French Communist Party National Secretary Pierre Laurent and had a dialogue with representatives of France’s leading economic groups.

On the occasion of the visit, the two sides signed a series of important cooperation documents and agreements in various fields.

During the talks and meetings, the sides defined priority strategic cooperation fields, including politics-diplomacy, security-national defence, economy-trade-investment, development cooperation, culture, education-training, and research on science and justice. They also agreed to join hands in building and implementing plans of action to realise the joint statement.

PM Dung affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of attaching special importance to the relations with France as the strategic partnership is not a destination but a new starting point. He asked the French side to facilitate Vietnamese goods in entering the market there, and to prioritise financial assistance to projects on the development of urban technical infrastructure in Vietnam.

French leaders affirmed their support to the cooperation between the two countries, the Vietnam-EU relations. They said they would support Vietnam in the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations and cooperate with the country at international forums.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the French side shares and supports Vietnam’s consistent policy of settling the disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of respecting international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and advancing to an early formation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The visit was a fine success and a new landmark in the Vietnam-France relations, creating an important foundation for the intensive, extensive, comprehensive, stable and sustainable development of the bilateral relations in the time to come. At the same time, this is also an important contribution to the strengthening of the cooperation between Asia and Europe in general and between ASEAN and the EU in particular.-VNA