Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (middle) attends fifth ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Ministerial Meeting (Source: VNA)

New York (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on September 26 attended the fifth ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Ministerial Meeting, and had bilateral meetings with the President of Palau and Foreign Ministers of Ecuador and Ukraine.

The events took place on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

At the ASEAN-Pacific Alliance Ministerial Meeting, delegates reviewed cooperation results and discussed plans for the two organisations’ future relationship.

They acknowledged the outcomes of the 2017-2018 Work Plan, especially in priority fields of economics, education, people-to-people exchange, science and technology, and agreed to extend the implementation of the Work Plan to 2019 to boost collaboration in trade, digital economy, development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable growth, culture and education.

Speaking at the event, Minh affirmed Vietnam attaches importance to the relationship between ASEAN and regional organisations.

Stressing the importance of inter-regional connectivity, he said the two organisations’ member states can take advantage of existing mechanisms to intensify trade facilitation and promote an open and rules-based market.

At separate meetings with the President of Palau and Foreign Ministers of Ecuador and Ukraine, the Vietnamese officials thanked the countries for their condolences over the passing of President Tran Dai Quang.

He briefed them on Vietnam’s achievements in external affairs, especially in implementing international commitments.

If elected, Vietnam will surely fulfill its tasks as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure, Minh stressed.

The countries lauded the role, position and contributions of Vietnam to the region and the international community, while agreeing to keep close coordination with Vietnam to maintain international peace and security.

Minh and Palauan President Tommy Remengesau agreed to boost cooperation in health, aquaculture and fishermen protection, and soon sign a memorandum of understanding on fishery collaboration and trade agreements to help Vietnamese agricultural products and seafood enter the Palauan market, and a bilateral aviation agreement.

Meeting Ecuadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility José Valencia, Minh welcomed Ecuador’s opening of its embassy in Vietnam, suggesting both sides step up delegation exchanges.

He urged Ecuador to recognise Vietnam’s market economy status and create favourable conditions for the two countries’ enterprises.

Both sides reached a consensus on considering establishing cooperation mechanisms to foster bilateral cooperation and to maintain close coordination at multilateral forums and organisations.

While meeting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pablo Klimkin, Minh recommended Ukraine ensure safety and security for the Vietnamese community in the country.-VNA