Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Rome (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had talks with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Rome on November 21, sharing the view that their countries have enjoyed vibrant relations in all spheres.

The talks took place within the framework of a State visit to Italy by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang from November 21 to 24.

The two officials affirmed the resolve to boost the comprehensive, substantive and effective development of the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership.

They agreed to increase delegation exchanges and meetings at all levels, and coordinate in implementing the action plan for the implementation of the strategic partnership in 2017 and 2018 in ten fields of cooperation, namely politics-diplomacy, economics, science-technology, infrastructure, transport, culture, education-training, defence, security and justice.

Priority will be given to economic partnerships, they said, noting that Italy will devise new orientations for development cooperation with Vietnam, particularly in vocational training, environment, water resources management and climate change response.

Minh asked the Italian Foreign Ministry, as the coordinator of the country’s international cooperation in culture, training and science-technology, to continue assisting Vietnam in these aspects while turning science-technology into a prioritised cooperation area in the time ahead.

Both sides agreed to enhance coordination at international and regional forums, especially the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), EU-ASEAN, and UNESCO.

Italy promised to speed up the signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement.

At the talks, the officials also discussed the East Sea issue, noting that East Sea disputes must be settled through peaceful negotiation, with respect to international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and efforts to expeditiously finalise a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters. They also voiced support for the maintenance of peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region and the world at large.

They agreed to strengthen coordination between their foreign ministries, maintain consultations, exchange students and personnel, and cooperate in international relations and international law training.

On this occasion, the two ministers signed an action plan for the implementation of the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership in the 2017-2018 period.-VNA