Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed Vietnam’s constant policy of attaching much importance to developing ties with France during a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on September 25.

He said lifting the ties between Vietnam and France to the strategic partnership manifests the strong resolve and political will of the two countries’ leaders to make the ties deeper, meeting the aspiration of both peoples.

Speaking highly of the outcomes of the talks between PM Dung and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, President Francois Hollande expressed his belief that the new strategic partnership is a significant milestone in fostering bilateral cooperation in fields.

He said France will continue promoting Vietnam’s relations with the European Unions on the basis of their partnership and comprehensive cooperation agreement (PCA), while supporting the Southeast Asian country in its negotiations for a free trade agreement with the EU.

Both sides agreed that it is necessary to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels and upgrade strategic dialogues between the two countries’ foreign and defence Ministries to deputy ministerial and equivalent level, while boosting cooperation among localities of the two countries.

Besides, the two sides should continue their collaboration and mutual support at international forums, especially the United Nations, they said.

France supports Vietnam’s consistent stance of settling East Sea disputes by peaceful measures based on respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, as well as building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea as early as possible.

The two leaders also reiterated their commitment to strengthening cooperation in trade, investment, focusing on major projects, as well as in education and training, environment and climate change resilience.

PM Dung asked the French side to continue its ODA provision for Vietnam, prioritising projects on urban infrastructure development, clean energy, vocational training, agriculture, environmental protection and biodiversity preservation.

He also suggested that France grant more scholarships to Vietnamese students.-VNA