|Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung
During their phone talks on April 6, Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung congratulated Justin Hayhurst on being newly appointed as Acting Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of the Indo-Pacific region and Head of SOM Australia on ASEAN and EAS.
Dung showed a wish to bolster close coordination to further deepen strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation between ASEAN and Australia.
Combating COVID-19 is now the top priority of ASEAN, adding that in the capacity as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam upholds the spirit "cohesion and proactive adaptation" and is actively promoting joint efforts of the regional bloc and cooperation with partners in the battle against the pandemic.
Hayhurst, for his part, appreciated Vietnam’s role and its efforts in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, saying his nation will continue supporting and working closely with Vietnam to step up the COVID-19 prevention efforts via regional cooperation mechanisms, including ASEAN-Australia cooperation and the EAS.
The two diplomats consented to maintain the Vietnam - Australia strategic partnership in a multitude of fields.
Dung thanked the Australian Government for its readiness to give technical support to Vietnam to help mitigate socio-economic impacts caused by COVID-19 while suggesting the Australian authorities continue supporting Vietnamese citizens and students in current difficult times.
Hayhurst thanked the Vietnamese Government for providing medical and consular support for Australian citizens and tourists affected by the epidemic and affirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia will work with education and interior ministries and authorities to take measures aimed at supporting Vietnamese students in Australia.