Permanent Secretary of the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan is on a two-day visit to Vietnam from August 21.

On the first day of his visit, Bilahari Kausikan paid a courtesy visit to Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who expressed his delight at the fine development of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore .

Minh also spoke highly of the regular exchange of visits by the two countries’ senior officials, which he said helps enhance bilateral ties and mutual trust.

Bilahari Kausikan agreed that in the coming time the two countries should continue strengthen cooperation in such areas as politics, economics, culture and education with a view to bringing Vietnam-Singapore relations to a new level, for the interests of the two countries as well as for the common development of ASEAN.

Singapore will closely coordinate with Vietnam in organising practical and significant activities to mark the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2013, he said.

The two sides pledged to increase cooperation at regional and international forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

They also vowed to consolidate the solidarity and central role of ASEAN towards the building of the ASEAN Community in 2015 as well as continue coordination with other ASEAN countries and China in implementing the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and drafting a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On August 22, the Singaporean diplomat will have a working session with Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh.-VNA