India, Vietnam expand effective partnership

(VOV) - Vietnam and India will deepen their strategic partnership, with a focus on strengthening cooperation in politics, national security and defence, economics, science-technology, oil & gas, culture, and people exchange, as well as at regional and multilateral forums.

The agreement was reached during high-level talks in Hanoi on September 15 between State President Truong Tan Sang and his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee who is in Hanoi for a four-day visit.

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The two presidents reviewed Guard of honour in Hanoi on September 15 before holding talks

To this end, they agreed to promote bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the inter-governmental committee, political consultation, strategic dialogue on security, and others.

They also consented to increase the number of high-level exchange visits, and convene the upcoming meeting of the inter-governmental committee in Vietnam next year.

President Sang thanked India for assisting Vietnam in national development and confirmed Vietnam attaches great importance to further developing the strategic partnership with India.

He congratulated India on its successful organisation of the House of the People (Lower House) election last May and believed India’s position will be elevated globally.

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President Truong Tan Sang (R) hailed President Mukherjee's visit as a vivid manifestation of the fine strategic partnership between Vietnam and India 

For his part, President Mukherjee said India-Vietnam relations have developed well recently, especially after both countries established a strategic partnership in 2007.

He affirmed that Vietnam is a key pillar in India’s ‘Look East’ policy, as well as in its relations with ASEAN, and India wants to broaden this strategic partnership with Vietnam.

Presidents Sang and Mukherjee noted with satisfaction the effective cooperation in national defence and security between the two countries in recent times, saying this is a key pillar in bilateral strategic partnership. They said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Indian provision of US$100 million in credit loans for Vietnam’s defence sector will open up new opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the area.

They acknowledged the rapid development in Vietnam-India economic ties, expecting to raise two-way trade value to US$7 billion in 2015 and US$15 billion by 2020.   

They welcomed the signing of a code share agreement on September 15 between Vietnam Airlines and Jet Airways of India, paving the way for the opening of a direct air route, scheduled for November 2014.

The two presidents also agreed to expand cooperation in agriculture, aquaculture, information technology, and education-training.

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Vietnam and India agreed to increase all-round cooperation to elevate their strategic partnership to new heights

Exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, Presidents Sang and Mukherjee said the two countries need to maintain fine cooperation at regional and international forums, including ASEAN, the East Asia Summit (EAS), Mekong- Ganga Cooperation (MGC), the UN, and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Both sides voiced mutual support for their bid to sit on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members in 2020-2021 (for Vietnam) and 2021-2022 for India.

They stressed the need for UN reform and an increase in the number of UNSC non-permanent members.

They underlined the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, and settling disputes through peaceful solutions in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The two presidents then witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation agreements in the areas of customs support, bank credits, basa fish breeding, animal health quarantine, youth cooperation, aviation services, and oil & gas.