Vietnam will enhance its engagement in Francophone activities in line with the country’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of international relations, and being a reliable and responsible member of the international community.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the commitment at his Hanoi talks with Secretary General of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) Abdou Diouf on March 13. Abdou Diouf is on an official visit to Vietnam from March 12-15.

At the meeting, Minh shared his views on major political and cooperative issues of the Francophone community, especially the preparations for the 15th Francophone Summit scheduled for November 2014 in Dakar, Senegal.

He also mentioned the diversification of culture and languages as well as the mobilisation of necessary resources for the OIF’s cooperation in politics, economics, cultural affairs and education.

The Vietnamese official suggested the French-speaking community place more importance to collaboration in poverty reduction, the implementation of Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development, reasoning they are highest priorities of developing countries.

He used the occasion to table proposals to strengthen the partnership between Vietnam and the OIF, particularly in education and training and the teaching of French language in the country.

In reply, Abdou Diouf reviewed the seventh Francophone Summit in Hanoi in 1997 and spoken highly of the country’s socio-economic achievements over the past years.

Highly valuing the country’s active contributions to the Francophone community, the OIF Secretary General pledged to make effort to ensure the balance in Francophone activities.

He called on Vietnam to continue bringing into full play its role as a bridge for the organisation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Appraising the country’s upcoming participation in the UN peacekeeping mission, Abdou Diouf affirmed his support to help the country in this field.

Later on the day, the pair witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the OIF’s assistance to activities of the Centre for French language research and cooperation in Asia-Pacific under the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.-VNA