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Vietnam, India hold strategic talks

(Vietnam News/ ANN) | Ha No |

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng and his Indian counterpart Preeti Saran co-chaired the ninth political consultation and sixth strategic dialogue at the deputy foreign ministerial level between Vietnam and India in Hà Nội yesterday.

The two sides showed their appreciation at the growing traditional friendship between the two countries over the past years, especially since the two sides set up their comprehensive strategic partnership in September 2016, and over the course of many high-level visits.

They lauded the efforts of agencies and localities from both countries in organising diverse activities to mark the Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2017, the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 10-year bilateral strategic partnership.

Both sides agreed to foster collaboration to prepare for upcoming visits of senior leaders, and promote bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the Joint Committee and Joint Sub-Committee on Trade.

The two sides concurred that it is necessary to seek specific measures to raise two-way trade to US$15 billion in 2020 as previously set, strengthen investment promotion, minimise the application of trade defence measures on respective products, and encourage the opening of direct air routes between major cities of both countries.

The Indian side affirmed its support for Vietnam in improving defence capacity, training in English for soldiers, transferring defence technologies and providing defence credit.

India suggested that the two sides strengthen cooperation in cyber security, maritime security and fighting terrorism, trans-national crimes and human trafficking.

Vietnam and India also agreed to foster connectivity not only in aviation, maritime and road links but also in digital technology, information and telecommunications, while speeding up the disbursement of the US$1 billion credit package that India has committed to ASEAN countries for connectivity projects.

The two sides also shared viewpoints on regional and global issues of shared concern. They will work closely with each other and other countries in the region to optimise opportunities and minimise risks to ensure a strategic security environment and cope with traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

They highlighted the traditional and close coordination between Vietnam and India at regional and international forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEAN-driven mechanisms.

India reaffirmed its support for ASEAN to play the central role in Asia-Pacific architecture, while Vietnam lauded the “Act East Policy” of India and pledged to successfully organise the summit commemorating the ASEAN-India partnership in January 2018.

Both Vietnam and India underscored that maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom benefits countries in and outside the region. They upheld the principles of dealing with disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), while stressing the need to exercise self-restraint and not to take moves complicating the situation, along with the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the soon attainment of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The two Foreign Ministries also agreed to hold more meetings to share experience in coping with issues related to border, territory and regional security, including maritime security.

The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh hosted a reception for Indian Deputy Foreign Minister Preeti Saran. Minh asked the two sides to work together in preparing for upcoming high-level visits and effectively implement the Action Programme for the 2017-2020 period. He said he hoped to welcome the Indian Foreign Minister to Việt Nam to co-chair the 16th Joint Committee meeting in 2018.

Preeti Saran said that Vietnam was an important pillar in India’s “Act East Policy”, adding that India had launched many projects, credit package and technical support for Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region in general.

During her stay, she also had a meeting with Nguyễn Huy Tăng, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations to talk party cooperation and another with Deputy Foreign Minister Lê Hoài Trung to discuss the East Sea issue and maritime cooperation.

She also conveyed the sympathy of her Government and people to victims of recent floods in the central region.