Vietnam wishes to expand multi-faceted cooperation with Belarus, especially in economy and trade, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said during his on-going visit to Belarus.

At his talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on November 26, the Vietnamese Party leader also affirmed that Vietnam treasures the traditional friendship with Belarus.

President Lukashenko said General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit provides a new push to further the ties between the two countries, adding that Belarus considers developing ties with Vietnam one of the priorities in its foreign policy in the Asian region.

Discussing major measures to intensify the Vietnam-Belarus comprehensive relations in the time to come, the two leaders agreed to continue increasing high-level visits and contacts, and step up relations via diverse channels such as party, parliament, government, social organisation and people-to-people exchange.

As a member of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Belarus will work to accelerate the negotiations for the early signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Union, President Lukashenko said.

Belarus will facilitate the entry of Vietnamese goods into its market, especially agricultural products, seafood, woodwork, garments and coffee, he added.

Both host and guest agreed to create conditions for both countries’ businesses to seek cooperation opportunities in various areas including information and telecommunications.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Lukashenko spoke highly of the effective defence cooperation between the two countries over the past time. Belarus pledged to continue provide training for Vietnamese military officers and expand training programmes in Vietnam.

The two leaders consented to step up collaboration in education-training, culture, sports and tourism, and terrorism and trans-national crime combat, as well as to continue expanding relations in labour and vocational training.

They were pleased at the close cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement as well as at international forums and organisations. They agreed to further increase close affiliation and sharing of information on regional and international matters through existing cooperation mechanisms as well as bilateral and multilateral channels.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the two leaders voiced their concern over recent complicated developments in the sea, hoping that concerned parties will solve their disputes by peaceful means in respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) while striving for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), in order to ensure peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters.

After the talks, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Lukashenko jointly chaired a press conference on the outcomes of their discussions.

The same day, the Party chief and his entourage laid a wreath at the Monument to Victory in Minsk city and met with representatives of the Vietnamese community in the country.-VNA