Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks at the meeting (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Maintaining a peaceful environment for development; safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; speeding up international integration; and attracting resources to serve national development are the main tasks of Vietnam’s foreign affairs in 2019.

The statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on March 11 when he co-chaired a joint meeting on the Party, State and National Assembly (NA)’s external work in 2018 and orientations for 2019 between the Foreign Ministry, the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations and the NA Committee for External Affairs.

Minh stressed the need to increase the efficiency of external activities, develop the country’s relations with partners in a deep, stable and effective manner, well implement the Secretariat’s Directive No.25 on stepping up and elevating multilateral diplomacy, and effectively perform citizen protection.

It is also essential to intensify canvass for a seat of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure, make good preparations to assume the ASEAN Chair in 2020, and push up the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, he said.

To that end, he suggested the three offices step up official training, along with closer coordination.

Last year, in the context of complicated regional and global developments, under the leadership of the Party and State and with close coordination between the three offices, external work gained outstanding achievements in all aspects, contributing to raising the country’s position and strength.-VNA