Vietnam values the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Italy in its relations with the European Union (EU).

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made the statement during talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome on January 21.

The Italian President welcomed the Vietnamese delegation’s visit (January 20-22) on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (1973-2013).

Trong expressed his belief that the visit will mark a new stage in the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two nations.

The Vietnamese leader thanked the Italian people for their enthusiastic support and valuable assistance during Vietnam ’s past struggle for national independence, as well as its current national development.

The Italian President spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements and its role in regional development.

The two leaders expressed their pleasure with the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries in recent time.

They applauded the signing of a joint statement on the establishment of the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership during the visit. It is an important milestone in bilateral ties that will open up cooperative opportunities and bring practical benefit to both sides, they said.

Trong and his host agreed on measures to deepen bilateral cooperation in economics, trade and investment.

The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of high-ranking delegations and work together to organise activities to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

They consented to increase cooperation in politics, education-training, science-technology, culture, tourism and security-defence, and improve the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms to accelerate the execution of bilateral agreements and cooperation programmes.

Trong affirmed that Vietnam will continue creating favourable conditions for the two countries’ businesses and investors to set up partnerships and increase their presence in each country, particularly in infrastructure, human resource training, mechanical engineering, health, and the environment.

The two leaders agreed that Vietnam and Italy should strengthen cooperation at international forums, particularly in the ASEAN-EU framework.

They also agreed that disputes on the East Sea should be resolved through peaceful negotiations on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The concerned parties need to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and early sign a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) for peace, stability, maritime freedom and safety in the region, they said.

The Italian President accepted Trong’s invitation to visit Vietnam.

Later, the two leaders met the media to announce the outcomes of their talks./.VNA