At the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) –
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN-New Zealand Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on July 31 in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52) and related meetings.

At the ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ministers acknowledged the important development milestones in the relations between the two sides, including the upgrade of ties to strategic partnership in 2018.

They agreed on the need to promote comprehensive cooperation in all pillars, focusing on a number of prioritised areas such as anti-terrorism, energy security, cyber security, agriculture, trade, investment, small and medium-sized enterprises development, education, connection, tourism, and people-to-people exchange.

The two sides will continue exploring the possibility of strengthening the cooperation between the ASEAN and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as well as the effective implementation of the ASEAN-Russia Declaration on security in information and communication technology, including the establishment of the ASEAN-Russia dialogue on ICT.

At the ASEAN-New Zealand Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, ASEAN countries lauded New Zealand’s efforts in conducting the People Strategy and Prosperity Strategy to promote connection with the ASEAN.
 
At the ASEAN-New Zealand Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Photo: VNA)

They highlighted the significance of commemoration of 45 years of ASEAN-New Zealand strategic partnership in 2020.

The two sides concurred to strengthen cooperation in some new areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure development, aviation connection, investment, digital economy, and agro-fisheries.

ASEAN countries highly valued New Zealand’s support to the association in education, people-to-people exchange, capacity building, climate change and natural disaster prevention through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA).

Addressing the events, Minh affirmed that Vietnam will actively work with ASEAN members to expand and deepen all-round ties between the bloc and Russia and New Zealand, especially in maritime cooperation, connection and sustainable development, economy-trade-investment, education-training, digital economy, Fourth Industrial Revolution adaptation, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

He showed concern on complicated developments in the East Sea, including unilateral actions that harm trust and peace. He underscored the principles agreed by ASEAN, while calling on parties to exercise restraint, not to use or threaten to use force, and not to conduct actions that complicate the situation and increase tension. He also stressed the need for upholding international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982), the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the soon formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The ministers shared Vietnam’s concern and agreed on the significance to strictly abide by international law and not to make actions that raise tension and complicate the situation.

They showed support to ASEAN’s principles and role in maintaining peace, stability and security in the East Sea.

The same day, Deputy PM Minh had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during which both sides spoke highly of the two countries organising various activities to mark the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Year 2019-2020, with the two Prime Ministers inaugurating the Vietnam Year in Moscow in May.
 
At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo: VNA)

Lauding the fruitful bilateral relations, they said regular visits and exchanges at all levels have been maintained, while cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, tourism, defence security and people-to-people exchange has been developed.

Russian has granted 1,000 scholarships to Vietnamese students, and supported Russian language teaching at Vietnamese high schools.

At the event, the Russian side laid stress on the importance of the ASEAN-Russia cooperation, and affirmed support for the bloc’s central role in the regional architecture.

Vietnam thanked Russia for supporting the former’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and hoped to receive further coordination from Russia during the country’s 2020-2021 tenure at the UNSC, and ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

Meeting with Thai FM Don Pramudwinai, Minh congratulated Thailand on the nation’s achievements when holding the ASEAN Chair this year, and affirmed Vietnam’s support for Thailand’s chairmanship.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) meets with Thai FM Don Pramudwinai (Photo: VNA)
 
Touching on measures to promote the bilateral relations, the two ministers said it is necessary for both sides to complete the building of the for 2019-2024 action programme implementing the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership. They said the move is significant to realise agreements between high-level leaders of the two countries, particularly the implementation of solutions to facilitating trade-investment towards improving trade balance and realising the target of 20 billion USD in two way trade in 2020 which was reached during the meeting between two Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit.

Don Pramudwinai said Thailand stands ready to back Vietnam to well perform its role as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, while speaking highly of Vietnam’s capacity to take on the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

While meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Eriksen Soreide, both ministers expressed their pleasure at the positive development of the two countries’ relations in recent times.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Norwegian Foreign Minister Eriksen Soreide (Photo: VNA)
 
They agreed to push negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Minister Soreide affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner and market of Norway and the European country wants to expand investment and establish businesses in the Southeast Asian nation.

Deputy PM Minh thanked Norway for supporting Vietnam to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and agreed to strengthen coordination with Norway within the framework of the UN Security Council and other multilateral forums.

At a meeting with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, the two sides expressed their satisfaction at the growing traditional friendship and special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos in all fields through the Party, State, National Assembly, Government and people-to-people channels.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L)and Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith (Photo: VNA)
The two ministers highly appreciated the cooperation efficiency between their foreign ministries and agreed to closely work together to implement the bilateral agreement in the 2014-2020 period as well as increase consultations and regular exchanges, and jointly complete the implementation of an agreement on settling free migration and undocumented marriage in the border areas.

They agreed to organise a conference reviewing the one-stop-shop model at the Lao Bao – Densavan international border gate and strengthen coordination at regional and international mechanisms such as the United Nations (UN), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).

At a meeting between Deputy PM Minh and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, the two sides reached high consensus on orientations and specific measures to boost the extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia between Vietnam and Japan in all fields such as politics-diplomacy, economy-trade, investment-development cooperation, security-defence, education-training, culture and people-to-people exchanges.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (Photo: VNA)

They agreed to enhance delegation exchanges, especially among high-level officials, and create favourable conditions for Japanese businesses to invest in Vietnam as well as boost the early implementation of Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation to implement Japan’s specific skilled workers programme, promote activities of the Vietnam-Japan University, and increase support for Japanese language teaching in Vietnam.

The two ministers spent a great amount of time discussing views about regional and global issues of mutual concerns such as enhancing cooperation between ASEAN and Japan, Mekong and Japan, and updating the situation in the Korean peninsula.

At the bilateral meetings, Vietnam and its partners shared information on the current situation in the East Sea as well as the country’s viewpoint of addressing matters via peaceful means and in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). - VNA