Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Philippine counterpart, Albert F. Del Rosario, co-chaired the sixth session of the Vietnam-Philippines Bilateral Cooperation Committee in Hanoi on Oct. 7.

A day earlier, the two sides conducted a senior official meeting (SOM).

At the sixth session, the two sides reviewed and evaluated outcomes on the implementation of agreements reached at the fifth session in the Philippines in February, 2008 and the Vietnam-Philippines Action Programme for the 2007-2010 period.

They set out orientations and measures to promote cooperation in specific areas, including the early signing of the Vietnam-Philippines Action Programme for the 2011-2016 period with a view to continuing to carry out the framework of the “Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation Framework in the first 25 years of the 21st century and the following period.”

The two sides were delighted with good steps of development in the friendship and comprehensive cooperation after 35 years of establishing diplomatic ties.

They highly valued encouraging growth in two-way trade in recent years, exceeding the target of 2 billion USD set at the fourth session.

Regarding security and defence cooperation, the two agreed to continue implementing the agreement on defence cooperation signed in October 2010, accelerating negotiations and the early signing of an agreement on establishment of an information line, increased liaison between the two navies and an agreement on establishment of a hotline between the Vietnam Maritime Police and the Coast Guard Force of the Philippines.

On sea and ocean cooperation, they held that it is a pillar in the relations and pleased with positive results reached in recent years, including the seventh session of the joint working group on sea and ocean issues.

They agreed to closely work for the success of the first session of the joint committee on sea and ocean at deputy foreign ministerial level held in the Philippines .

They also agreed to implement the cooperative agreement on coping with oil spills and another on search and rescue signed in October 2010, to ensure sea safety and security.

The Philippines pledged to consider the abolition of regulations on visas or supervision over Vietnamese sailors as well as the lifting of different taxes on Vietnamese ships which transport export goods from the Philippines .

The two sides discussed international and regional issues of common concern and agreed to increase coordination at regional and international forums, especially within the ASEAN cooperative framework.

The two ministers expressed their pleasure at the fruitful results of the session and believed that agreements reached at the meeting will be carried out by both countries’ ministries and agencies, contributing to developing friendship and comprehensive cooperation in a deeper and more practical manner and meeting the aspirations of the two governments and peoples.

They signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of the session and agreed to convene the next meeting in the Philippines in 2013. A preparatory session for the seventh session will be held in the Philippines in 2012.

Also the same day, Minister Albert F. Del Rosario was received by State President Truong Tan Sang./.