Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius discussed and agreed upon main content and a roadmap to lift the two countries’ relations to strategic partnership during their talks in Hanoi on August 4.

The talks took place in an atmosphere of openness, mutual understanding and trust as part of the French FM’s three-day visit to Vietnam starting from August 3 as guest of FM Minh at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

Both FMs shared the view that bilateral traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation have seen positive developments in recent time, and focused on concrete measures to gain more in the time to come.

Accordingly, economy and trade linkages and exchange of delegations at all levels will be stepped up while the existing dialogue mechanisms in diplomacy, defence, economics, trade, investment, and science-technology will be strengthened and fully utilised.

Ties between localities will be encouraged and French groups and businesses will be helped to seek investment opportunities as well as expand operations in Vietnam, particularly in the fields of France’s technological advantages, such as infrastructure, energy, transport, aerospace, health, agriculture and food processing.

Cooperation in the fields of education and training, culture, science-technology will be enhanced.

Discussing international and regional issues of mutual concern, the two FMs affirmed continual, close cooperation and collaboration at regional and international forums.

Minister Laurent Fabius voiced his country’s support for the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means in compliance with international law to ensure peace, stability and development in this important area.

The French FM also expressed his delight to see recent positive changes between ASEAN and China in a bid to build a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

France backs Vietnam’s bid to develop relations with the EU while Vietnam, as an ASEAN-EU coordinator, pledges to support France in strengthening ties with ASEAN, heard the talks.-VNA