Vietnam and Singapore discussed measures to strengthen bilateral cooperation at their seventh political consultation and the 3 rd exchange between the two countries’ foreign ministries in Hanoi on March 22.

The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Vinh and Permanent Secretary of the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan.

They noted with satisfaction the positive development in friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore .

This year, Vietnam and Singapore will organise a number of activities to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (August 1, 1973-2013), including the exchange of visits by their high-ranking leaders, aiming to increase cooperation in politics, economics, trade, investment and culture, thus proceeding to a strategic partnership in the near future.

Both sides acknowledged the effective cooperation between the two foreign ministries, and affirmed to maintain the annual political consultations to promote mutual trust and understanding.

They agreed to work together at regional and international forums, especially within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to build the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The sides voiced their support for strengthening solidarity in ASEAN and increasing the association’s role in settling issues relating to peace and security in the region, as well as encouraging its dialogue partners’ involvement in regional cooperation mechanisms.

They stressed the importance of peace, stability, and maritime security in the East Sea , the implementation of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ six-point principles on the East Sea , the ASEAN-China Joint Declaration on the occasion of the 10 th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the Code of Conduct (COC).

At the meeting, both sides agreed to hold the next consultation in Singapore next year.

On March 21, Kausikan was received by Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who emphasised the importance of consolidating the two countries’ relationship.-VNA