Vietnamese FM attends Special ASEAN - India Foreign Ministers' Meeting hinh anh 1Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting (SAIFMM) in New Delhi on June 16  (Photo: VNA) 

New Delhi (VNA) - Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attended the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting (SAIFMM) in New Delhi on June 16 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of ASEAN - India relations.  

During his speech at the event, FM Son highlighted the long-standing traditional relationship between India and the Southeast Asian region and the strong development of relations, saying that the two sides have recorded important achievements over the past 30 years.

He said that now is the time for ASEAN and India to elevate their strategic relationship and comprehensive cooperation to a higher level, contributing to peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese official suggested ASEAN and India should join hands and continue to promote the common values shared by the two sides, enhance dialogue, cooperation and trust building, harmonize differences, limit disagreements, minimise conflicts, and make positive contributions to peace, stability and development in the region.

Son underlined the need for the two sides to strengthen support for each other in improving health capacity, coordinate to effectively implement the ASEAN-India FTA, and expand cooperation on digital transformation, innovation and sub-region development, including the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC).

He appreciated India's support for ASEAN's stance on the East Sea, and called on India to back ASEAN's effort to build the East Sea into a sea of peace, stability, cooperation and environmentally friendliness, contributing to peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world as a whole. 

During the meeting, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar affirmed that ASEAN is  an important pillar in not only the  'Act East' policy, but also the overall foreign policy and the centre of  the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) of India.

India supports ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture, he said, noting that his country attaches great importance to its close relationship with ASEAN and wishes to elevate the ASEAN-India relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

ASEAN ministers highlighted the centuries-old traditional connection between India and Southeast Asia, which laid the foundation for ASEAN-India relations to progress over the past three decades. 
The ministers agreed to work together to promote ASEAN-India relations to make effective contributions to peace, security and stability in the region.

ASEAN and India agreed to continue to prioritise recovery and  improvement of health capacity; ensuring adequate supply of vaccines and medicine; strengthening sustainable maritime cooperation; responding to terrorism, transnational crime and extreme violence; promoting economic and trade exchange in order to achieve the goal of 200 billion USD in bilateral trade turnover; and effectively implementing the ASEAN-India free trade agreement.

The two sides will also strengthen cooperation in tourism, culture and people-to-people exchange;  application of science and technology, digital transformation; and expand cooperation in energy transformation, climate change response, green and sustainable development.

ASEAN and India affirmed their continued coordination in maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.

Jaishankar re-affirmed his country’s support for ASEAN's principled stance on the East Sea, saying that India supports ASEAN in promoting dialogue and confidence-building, fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and building an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea that accords with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Earlier the same day, FM Son paid a courtesy visit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Vietnamese official will attend and deliver a speech at a Ministerial-level debate within the framework of the 12th edition of the Delhi Dialogue later the same day./.