Vietnam attends first ASEAN-Australia Summit hinh anh 1PM Pham Minh Chinh at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh led a Vietnamese delegation to the annual first ASEAN-Australia Summit that was held virtually on October 27.

In his speech, PM Chinh spoke highly of Australia’s assistance to the region and ASEAN member states in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

He thanked Australia for offering vaccines and medical supplies to ASEAN nations, including Vietnam. He also suggested Australia enhance support to help ASEAN improve its capacity of preventive medicine and response to medical emergencies and communicable diseases in the future, towards sustainable economic development.

The Vietnamese leader hailed Australia’s active and responsible contribution to issues related to peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea issue.

On such basis, he wished Australia would continue backing ASEAN’s efforts to maintain peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, as well as uphold the abidance by international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) via diplomatic process, promote self-restraint and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

Australian PM Scott Morrison affirmed his appreciation of ties with ASEAN, support of ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

He committed to effective participation in ASEAN-led dialogue and cooperation mechanisms on the basis of respecting international law and promoting regional order, thus making positive contributions to peace, security, stability and development in the region.

Morrison vowed to support ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea issue, uphold the role of promoting dialogue and strengthening trust building, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards reaching an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Australia welcomes and supports ASEAN’s role in promoting dialogue and reconciliation, as well as helping Myanmar seek measures to stabilise the situation, he said.

Participants spoke highly of the positive developments of ASEAN-Australia partnership. They hailed Australia as a significant economic partner of ASEAN with a two-way trade of over 100 billion AUD last year.

Concluding the event, they agreed to upgrade ASEAN-Australia ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership level./.