Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women of Australia Marise Payne (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has lauded Vietnam visit by Marise Payne following her reappointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs cum Minister for Women of Australia, saying that it proves the Australian government’s appreciation for Vietnam and substantial ties between the two nations.

During talks in Hanoi on June 12 with the Australian Minister, Deputy PM Minh thanked the Pacific country for maintaining the supply of development assistance to Vietnam, saying that it has been used effectively, contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

Payne, for her part, affirmed that Australia considers Vietnam one of its key partners in Southeast Asia and wants to further propel bilateral ties, both within bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

Both sides agreed to facilitate high-level visits in the near future, effectively uphold 19 bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially annual meetings between the two defence and foreign ministers, and soon hold the first ministerial-level Economic Partnership Meeting this year.

They vowed to enhance coordination in maritime security, fight against trans-national and drug crimes; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Highlighting the importance of trade liberalisation and the role of multilateral trade system, especially amid rising protectionism and trade conflict, they promised to tap each side’s potential and strengths to further deepen bilateral economic links along with effectively tapping multilateral trade agreements to which the two nations are members, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Minh asked Australia to step up safety approval and open the market for several Vietnamese farm produce and aquatic products, especially longans and shrimps.

Host and guest pledged to boost links in other important fields such as education-training, labour, innovation, smart agriculture, and people-to-people exchange.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, Payne congratulated Vietnam on winning a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 tenure with high approval votes.

Australia highly values Vietnam’s role in the region and ASEAN, strongly supports the bloc’s central role in evolving regional architecture, she said, firmly believing that Vietnam will successfully fulfill its tasks in the UNSC as well as in its position as ASEAN Chair 2020.

They highlighted the significance of ensuring peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea as well as the settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and early formulation of a practical, effective and comprehensive Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

On the occasion, the two ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two foreign ministries on improving women empowerment in external affairs amid global integration and digital era.

They also witnessed the presentation of the Vietnamese State’s Friendship Order to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research in recognition of its active contributions to Vietnam’s agriculture and rural development.-VNA