Vietnam always attaches importance to the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sri Lanka and will work together with the country in raising two-way trade value to 1 billion USD by 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stated in his meetings with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne and Speaker of Parliament Chamal Jayantha Rajapaks, and talks with Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris in Colombo on November 25.

He said he believes that Sri Lanka will soon fulfil the set targets in the Mahinda Chintana programme to turn it into an important economic, trade, aviation, maritime and intellectual centre in the region, making contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world at large.

The two sides spoke highly of positive developments in bilateral relations in the recent past, especially in economics, trade, culture and education as well as the significance and outcomes of President Truong Tan Sang’s state-level visit to Sri Lanka in October 2011.

They shared the view that both sides should further strengthen exchanges and meetings at all levels between political parties, legislative bodies and people.

The two sides should also maintain the valid cooperation mechanisms such as the joint committees, political consultations, soon set up sub-committees for cooperation in specific areas, and implement the signed agreements.

They should encourage and create conditions for their enterprises to do business in each other’s country, especially in tea production and processing in Vietnam, and the exploration and supply of oil products in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan leaders expressed their belief that Deputy PM and FM Minh’s visit will help deepen the two countries’ relations.

They spoke highly of Vietnam’s development achievements, saying they hope to get the country’s experience and support in agriculture and aquaculture.

Sri Lanka is willing to help Vietnam in law and international justice, the sectors of its strength, according to the leaders.

They also congratulated Vietnam on its election to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 tenure and affirmed they want Vietnam to play a more important role in international forums, such as the UN and the Non-aligned Movement.

Earlier the same day, Deputy PM and FM Minh attended the inaugural ceremony of President Ho Chi Minh’s statue in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo.-VNA