Vietnam supports the efforts undertaken by the international community to combat all forms of terrorism, including acts of violence and extremism, Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Le Hai Binh declared during a press conference in Hanoi on September 25.

Anti-terrorism efforts needed to respect the United Nations Charter; the basic principles of international law, including independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries concerned; and guarantee safety for civilians, Binh said in response to the Vietnam News Agency’s question on Vietnam’s position on the US’ airstrike on the Syrian-based Islamic State.

A question was raised on the Chinese army’s upcoming large-scale live fire test in the southern part of Hainan Island, near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago, and the impact it would have on Vietnamese fishermen in the area.

Binh replied that following the announcement made by China’s maritime administration on September 24, relevant agencies have been verifying the information and took necessary precautions to protect Vietnamese fishermen operating in the national fishing grounds in the East Sea.

He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government continuously employed all the necessary measures to ensure fishing operations ran smoothly in traditional fishing grounds.

Binh said China’s recent move to convert submerged rocks in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago, including Gac Ma Reef, into man-made islands altered the status quo and contradicted the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). He affirmed that all activities conducted by the parties concerned in the East Sea needed to respect the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the countries involved.

He added that these activities needed to abide by international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the DOC. In general, parties should not complicate the situation with any further action.

“We hold on to the view that, in the current situation, all sides should take responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea,” the spokesman emphasised.

When asked about the situation of Vietnamese nationals in Iraq and Syria, Binh said there were no Vietnamese working or living in Iraq. According to information provided by the Vietnamese Embassy in Iran and Syria, there is currently only one Vietnamese working in Syria.

The embassy is cooperating with relevant Syrian agencies and the International Organisation for Migration on the necessary procedures to repatriate the citizen, the Spokesman said.-VNA