|Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security.
Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made the remarks during her talks with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi on August 5 as part of her first official visit to Vietnam.
At the talks, the EU official expressed her delight at the trip and highlighted great strides in the Vietnam-EU relations, noting that the EU sees Vietnam as a leading partner in the region and desires to further step up cooperative relations with the Southeast Asian country.
Both sides highly rated the outcomes of high-level meetings between Vietnam and the EU over the past time as well as their partnerships across multiple fields ranging from politics, defence to economics-trade and development cooperation. They praised the recent signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
They underlined the need to deepen the bilateral cooperation towards a more dynamic period in line with their full potential and interests of both sides amidst their future celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2020.
The two sides agreed to intensify all-level exchanges and carry out cooperation mechanisms in the time to come and regarded economic, trade and investment cooperation as an important pillar of the Vietnam-EU ties.
Minh expressed his confidence that Mogherini’s current visit will make considerable contributions to fostering the Vietnam-EU partnership and all-around cooperation.
He thanked the EC and the Vice President for their efforts to speed up the EVFTA and EVIPA.
In reply, Mogherini described the signing of the trade deals as a landmark in the bilateral ties, and pledged to push ahead with ratification procedures, thereby delivering practical benefits to both sides.
Minh was appreciative of the EU and EU member states’ support for Vietnam during the country’s socio-economic development and international integration, while asking the EU to maintain official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, enabling it to improve institutional capacity as well as ability to respond to climate change and spur sustainable development.
He urged the EU to soon remove “yellow card” warning on Vietnam’s seafood exports, and work hand in hand with Vietnam to actively implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT).
The EU official assured the EU’s readiness to cooperate with Vietnam in this regard, and maintain closer collaboration with the country.
The Vietnamese diplomat also applauded the EU’s role in global security and peace as well as the bloc’s stance on maintaining stability and ensuring respect of international law in the region and in the East Sea, particularly in the context that there are unilateral actions which cause growing tension, erode trust, infringe upon interests and violate sovereignty of numerous nations.
Federica Mogherini reiterated the EU’s consistent stance of supporting freedom of navigation and aviation, resolving disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Recent militarization and tension have negatively impacted on regional peace and stability, she said, voicing her hope that ASEAN and China will work to soon reach a legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Host and guest also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, and consented to augment cooperation at multilateral forums, especially in 2020 when Vietnam assumes the role as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 towards stronger multilateral cooperation and ASEAN-EU collaboration, making greater contributions to peace, cooperation and development in the two regions and the world.