President Tran Dai Quang (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Defence cooperation has become one of the pillars in the strategic partnership between Vietnam and France and will be broadened in the coming time, President Tran Dai Quang has stated.

He granted an interview to the French news agency AFP ahead of President Francois Hollande’s State visit to Vietnam.

The two countries can support each other in the United Nations’ peacekeeping missions, ensuring maritime and over-flight security, safety and freedom, and addressing issues related to cyber security and non-traditional security, he said, stressing the need to build a common vision on defence cooperation to make it more effective.

The Vietnamese leader also shared with AFP correspondents about his meeting with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in June, who said France was interested in the maintenance of peace and stability in Asia-Pacific as well as the law-abiding principle in handling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law. These issues also caught Vietnam’s attention, he noted.

The President asserted that Vietnam supports France playing an active and constructive role in protecting the common interests of the international community, and reiterated the country’s willingness to cooperate in numerous fields with France, for peace, stability and mutually-beneficial cooperation.

President Quang also recalled historic milestones in the bilateral relations since the two established diplomatic ties.

He described the historic Vietnam visit by President Francois Mitterrand in 1993 an important milestone in the bilateral ties, which has reached new heights on the back of both sides’ high-ranking officials.

Notably, the two nations issued a joint statement on the establishment of their strategic partnership in 2013, which allowed the two countries to attain achievements across politics, diplomacy, economics, trade, investment, science, technology, culture and education, over the past three years.

France is now Vietnam’s fifth biggest trade partner in the European Union with two-way trade hitting 4.2 billion USD in 2015. It is also one of the leading ODA providers for Vietnam.

The two countries have also signed almost all necessary legal documents to expand cooperation, including a framework agreement on economic cooperation, an agreement on investment encouragement and protection, and another on double taxation avoidance, thus helping bring about practical benefits for both sides and contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the world, he stated.-VNA