Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Le Hai Binh gave an overview of Vietnam’s foreign affairs and other issues of public concern during the monthly press briefing in Hanoi on August 28.

Regarding the recent China visit of Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Le Hong Anh as Special Envoy of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Binh said leaders of the two Parties and countries agreed to continue directing their efforts towards creating a healthy and stable relationship.

Furthermore, both sides will foster exchanges between the two Parties and countries, and will restore and enhance cooperation on politics, diplomacy, national defence and security, economics, trade, investment, and law.

In addition, they pledged to abide by the key common views of the leaders of the Parties and countries; to comply in sincerity with the basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime disputes; to make good use of mechanisms at the government-level for conducting negotiations on Vietnamese-Chinese territorial borders; and to seek fundamental and long-term approaches that are acceptable to both sides.

Vietnam and China will work in ways that will not impact their respective positions, including on cooperation and development issues; will manage maritime disputes effectively; and will avoid actions that have the potential to complicate and enlarge disputes, in order to safeguard a peaceful relationship and stability in the East Sea.

In response to the Vietnam News Agency’s questions on Vietnam’s position on the Palestine – Israel ceasefire agreement on August 26, Binh said that Vietnam welcomes the move and calls on all concerned parties to respect the truce, increase negotiations on a comprehensive and sustainable peace deal, and ensure peace and stability in the region.

Regarding Vietnam’s stance on the escalating violence triggered by the Islamic state group in Iraq, Binh said Vietnam is deeply concerned by the situation and condemns inhuman actions and atrocities committed against innocent civilians.

“We back efforts by the international community and Iraqi administration to restore stability soon, ensuring Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity for peace and stability in the region,” he added.

Turning to Vietnam’s initiative at the ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ meeting in Bangkok on August 27 to increase the role of the ASEAN navies in addressing challenges beyond 2015, the spokesman said contributions should be made to the establishment of a fully-fledged ASEAN community by the end of 2015.

When asked about the ongoing census of Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia, Binh said a working mission of the Cambodian government has checked registration and citizenship papers to safeguard the interests of the Vietnamese community in Cambodia.

On the situation of the Vietnamese community in Ebola-infected countries, he said that Vietnamese citizens living in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia remain safe. They have been warned to stay away from affected areas and have been advised to seek assistance from agencies representing Vietnam in emergency cases.

Regarding the appeal made to Vietnamese Ukrainians to join the army, Binh made it clear that almost all Ukrainians of Vietnamese descent are exempted from military service since they are currently pursuing their education, both inside and outside of the country. Individuals who are registered as students or have health problems are exempt from military duty, he assured.

During the press briefing, he also informed the media that 12 Vietnamese fishermen will be returning from the Philippines on August 30.

The Vietnamese embassy in the Netherlands and agencies representing Vietnam abroad will verify the identities of the three Vietnamese victims in the MH17 plane accident and will arrange for their remains to be returned to Vietnam.-VNA