The Vietnamese Embassy in India and Nepal confirmed that no Vietnamese citizens were killed by the deadly avalanche in Nepal on October 15, the Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said.

The Nepalese side is working hard to verify information relating to Vietnamese hikers who registered for treks between late September and early November, Hang told reporters in a regular press conference on October 23.

She added that the Foreign Ministry instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in India and Nepal to coordinate closely with Nepalese authorities to verify the facts on Vietnamese hikers in Nepal .

Regarding blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who was recently released, the Deputy Spokesperson said the State of Vietnam decided to suspend Hai’s verdict and prison sentence, and allow him to leave for the US on humanitarian grounds.

During the press conference, Hang also expressed Vietnam ’s position on China ’s current illegal actions, including the construction of an airport in the Fiery Cross Reef, which is part of Vietnam ’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago, the endeavour to turn a Truong Sa reef into an island, and supporting Taiwan ’s deployment of armed vessels in Ba Binh island in Truong Sa.

“Once again, we strongly affirm our indisputable sovereignty over Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos. Any actions by other parties in these areas, without the permission of Vietnam , are regarded as illegal and void,” she highlighted.

In response to reporters’ questions whether any visits to China were planned to discuss bilateral cooperation and the East Sea issue following Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh’s visit, Hang said Vietnam and China will mark the 65 th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2015. In the near future, the two sides will exchange delegations at all levels to enhance their friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation, she stated.-VNA