Vietnam, Norway promote bilateral cooperation hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh talked on the phone with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide on May 26, discussing measures to enhance bilateral cooperation and coordination at multilateral forums.

The two officials noted with satisfaction the sound development of bilateral ties, particularly the implementation of agreements reached during the visit to Norway by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May 2019. They agreed to work together to organise activities marking the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (1971-2021).

The two sides compared notes on orientations to promote economic and trade ties between the two countries, one of which is to push for the early signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), in order to support their economies in overcoming the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also discussed measures to control the pandemic and promote post-pandemic economic development. The Norwegian Foreign Minister praised pandemic control measures taken by Vietnam, saying they are effective and provide good experience.

Deputy PM Minh said Vietnam is willing to share experiences in this field with Norway and support each other in citizen protection work. He welcomed Norway’s initiatives on UN coordination to help developing countries overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and push ahead with the research for a vaccine for the disease.

The two officials expressed their satisfaction at bilateral coordination at multilateral forums, noting that the two countries share many similar viewpoints on international affairs, including the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for law, and sustainable development.

The two sides agreed to continue with coordination to better tap the potential for cooperation between Norway and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the year Vietnam is the chair of the association. They also vowed to enhance collaboration at the UN, especially when Vietnam is serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure. /.