Vietnam, Philippines establish strategic partnership hinh anh 1President Truong Tan Sang (L) and his Philippines counterpart Benigno Aquino (Source: VNA)

Manila (VNA) –
Vietnam and the Philippines established their strategic partnership during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the ASEAN fellow country to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

A joint statement to this effect was inked by the two countries’ Foreign Ministers following the talks between President Truong Tan Sang and his Philippines counterpart Benigno Aquino on November 17.

During their talks, the two leaders held that the formation of the strategic partnership is significant as it ushers in a new era for the bilateral ties while contributing to maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

Noting with pleasure the continuous developments in the bilateral relations in various areas over the past years, the Presidents discussed major orientations to promote the strategic partnership in the time ahead.

They agreed to intensify the exchange of delegations at all levels and organise activities marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2016 in an effort to raise mutual understanding between the two countries’ citizens.

At the same time, the two sides will maintain operating cooperation mechanisms and increase the sharing of information and experience in all fields.

The Philippines affirmed that Vietnam is its important rice supplier and spoke highly of the two countries’ collaboration in search and rescue operations.

For his part, the Vietnamese President thanked the Philippines for recently releasing Vietnamese fishermen it had captured and suggested freeing the remainder.

The two leaders exchanged views on issues of regional and international concerns.

The Philippines promised to share with Vietnam its experience in hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and wished to consult the country about the joining of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

President Truong Tan Sang voiced his belief that the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting hosted by the Philippines will be successful, and pledged support for the country’s participation in the TPP.

The two sides consented to foster solidarity and uphold the central role played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in major matters regarding security and interests of each country as well as the region at large.

They reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety, and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea, and settling disputes at sea in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Both vehemently condemned the deadly attacks on civilians in Paris on November 13, saying they believe the culprits will be punished strictly.

On this occasion, the two Presidents witnessed the hand-over of a protocol supplementing the rice trading agreement between the two countries for 2014-2016.

While in the Philippines, President Sang met with the Speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives and the President of the Philippines-Vietnam Friendship Association.

The Vietnamese delegation is expected to contribute to the 23rd meeting’s key components, especially matters pertaining to economic connectivity; human resources development; food safety; and micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses.-VNA