Morocco a priority partner in Vietnam's external policy

VOV.VN - Morocco is regarded as a priority partner in Vietnam's foreign policy, National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said during her talks with President of the Moroccan House of Representatives Habib El Malki in Hanoi on December 18.

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At their talks, the two legislators highlighted parliamentary cooperation as one of the effective channels to augment all-around cooperation between Vietnam and Morocco.

Chairwoman Ngan affirmed Vietnam's recognition of great attachment to developing friendship and multifaceted cooperation with African countries, of which Morocco is a priority partner in North Africa.

She congratulated Morocco for its return to the African Union and hoped the country will back the development of relations between Vietnam and the union.

Ngan told her guest that the Vietnam National Assembly supports the promotion of comprehensive cooperation with Morocco by fine-tuning the legal system and creating a favourable legal framework for Moroccan businesses.

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She suggested enhancing connectivity between the two countries’ businesses in such potential areas as trade, tourism, finance, and renewable energy, looking toward the establishment of a joint business council.

The two sides should establish direct payment ties between their commercial banks and use the Moroccan banking network in Africa to support business activities, including payment, for Vietnamese firms in the region, she said.

Ngan thanked the Moroccan Government and House of Representative for facilitating the settlement and integration of the Vietnamese community in the African country, adding that the overseas Vietnamese will continue being an important factor in reinforcing the bilateral friendship and pushing up two-way trade in the time to come.

Vietnam and Morocco need to step up trade promotion activities, intensify business delegation exchanges at international workshops, forums and trade fairs while tapping cooperation potential in agriculture, mining, construction material, chemicals, garment-textile, footwear, and food processing, the top Vietnamese legislator said.

The Moroccan parliament leader, in turn described Vietnam as a dynamic and future-oriented country and expressed his desire to study the Southeast Asian country’s history and culture to boost bilateral cooperation in the fields.

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He congratulated Vietnam on the successful hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang in November and described Vietnam as a gateway to connect Morocco with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 
He affirmed his nation's readiness to connect Vietnam with Africa while calling on the two sides to work together to build cooperation strategies to capitalize on these advantages.

Host and guest expressed their delight at the growing relations between the two law-making bodies as a result of increased exchange visit as well as regular meetings, consultations and mutual support at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentary Assembly of Francophonie (APF).

They concurred to boost high-level delegation exchanges to deepen mutual understanding and trust as well as stepping up coordination at the aforesaid multilateral forums.

The two sides will work hand in hand to supervise the implementation of agreements signed between the two countries’ governments and ministries for mutual benefit, they stated.

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Economic and trade ties are still far from matching the two  nations' full potential with bilateral trade standing at just US$190 million in 2016, the two parliamentary leaders said and pledged to further promote those ties in future.

Vietnam and Morocco have shared common principles and values in external policies aimed at protecting and promoting peace, security and prosperity of nations, Malki said while voicing his nation's support for Vietnam’s stance on the settlement of all disputes through peaceful dialogues.

With regard to the East Sea issue, Ngan reiterated Vietnam’s unswerving policy of settling sovereignty and territory disputes peacefully on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

Vietnam has preserved a Moroccan-style village gate in Hanoi, which was constructed in 1956-1960 by Moroccan soldiers who joined the League for the Independence of Vietnam (Viet Minh) in the resistance war against France, saying that the work signifies the solidarity and cooperation between the two countries, Ngan said.

On the occasion, Ngan accepted the invitation of the Morocco’s President of House of Representatives to pay an official visit to the country at an appropriate time.

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After talks, the two sides signed a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam National Assembly and Morocco’s House of Representatives.

In reply to reporter's question about the cooperation agreement at a press briefing the same day, the Vietnamese NA leader said the signing of the cooperation agreement ushers in a new period of cooperation between the two legislatures. This is the first time the Vietnam National Assembly has signed such a cooperation agreement with the parliament of an African country nation. 

This cooperation agreement will help re-organize the way of cooperation across a variety of fields, thus promoting the relationship between the two countries in a practical and effective manner, especially the collaboration between the two legislative bodies, Ngan said.

Regarding the outcomes of their talks, Ngan said that the two sides reviewed bilateral political, economic and trade cooperation as well as collaboration between the two parliaments. They shared the hope to further affiliation in a multitude of fields, adding that the two legislative bodies will also continue  going ahead with their political consultation mechanism.

Concerning bilateral parliamentary cooperation promotion measures, Habib El Malki said that with the signing of the new agreement, the first one signed between Vietnam and the parliament of an African country, the ties between the two parliaments and the two countries will enter a new period.

Habib El Malki noted that Vietnam and Morocco share a long-standing friendship and similarities in culture and history, which is a firm foundation for the two sides to further develop partnership. This is also a good chance for the two countries to propel economic and trade ties forward.

President of the Moroccan House of Representatives Habib El Malki is on an official visit to Vietnam from December 16-22.