A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son discussed bilateral relations with senior Czech officials during a visit to the European country from April 13-15.

The delegation held a political consultation with Czech Deputy Foreign Ministers Petr Drulak and Ivan Jukl and a working session with Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs at the President’s Office Hynek Kmonicek and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Jiri Havlicek.

At the functions, the Czech officials spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in its “doi moi” (renewal) efforts as well as its growing stature in the Southeast Asian region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

They stressed that their country continually treasures its traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam and will strengthen its coordination with the nation at international forums, especially within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting and ASEAN-European Union (EU) cooperation.

Deputy Foreign Minister Petr Drulak announced that the Czech parliament has completed its internal procedures and will ratify the Vietnam - EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation shortly.

The two sides agreed to jointly organise cultural activities to mark the 65 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1950-2015). The Czech Republic will assist in organising the Vietnam Week, scheduled to be opened in the capital city of Prague on May 13.

The countries’ officials also voiced their delight at the developing trade-investment relations in recent years with trade reaching 294 million USD in 2014, rising by 23 percent from a year earlier. They also consented to closely coordinate in implementing the outcomes of the fourth session of the nations’ Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation held in Hanoi in last May.

The Czech side said it will continue official development assistance to Vietnam in small-scale projects such as environmental protection, climate change resilience and agricultural biotechnology.

The countries will step up delegation exchanges, particularly between ministries and localities, to intensify collaboration in trade-investment, education-training, defence-security, environment, crystal production, pharmaceuticals and health care.

At the meetings, the Czech Republic spoke highly of contributions by the Vietnamese community, recognised as an ethnic minority group there, to local socio-economic development as well as economic relations and those between the two peoples. It described the overseas community as a role model for other minority groups in the country.

The Czech leaders also valued Vietnam’s and other ASEAN countries’ approach to the East Sea issue by settling disputes peacefully in compliance with internationally recognised law. It supports ASEAN centrality in cooperation within the Asian-Pacific region.-VNA