The agreement to establish a strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy created new co-operation opportunities for the parliaments of both countries, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said in Rome on March 21.

In particular, Vietnam 's National Assembly wished to strengthen bilateral parliamentary co-operation at regional and international forums, he said in talks held with Marina Sereni, Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Sereni responded with praise for the efficiency shown by the Vietnamese parliament, especially in approving the nation's new Constitution.

She concurred with NA chairman Hung on the need for increased dialogue between the two countries in general and their parliaments in particular towards exchanging ideas and experiences.

The two sides also agreed that they would enhance their consultation mechanisms and forge closer bilateral co-operation at multilateral forums like the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The NA chairman invited Sereni to make an official visit to Vietnam and attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that Vietnam will host in March 2015.

Earlier the same day, in a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Chairman Hung expressed the hope that Italy would facilitate the European Parliament's approval of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

He sought similar support for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) so that it can be signed this year.

Napolitano said there was great potential to increase co-operation between Vietnam and Italy , and said this should be done in ways that uses well the respective strengths of both nations.

Chairman Hung also met with Paolo Ferrero, secretary of Italy's Communist Refoundation Party as well as a delegation of the Vietnam-Italy Parliamentary Friendship Group led by Italian Senator Pier Ferdinando Casini.-VNA