Review on external affairs from April 10-16: President’s successful visit to Laos; new dynamics in Vietnam-US relations
|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Photo: VNA)|
On the occasion of the traditional New Year of the two neighbouring countries, Bunpimay in Laos and Chol Chnam Thmay in Cambodia, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has sent letters of greetings and flowers to Party General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, and President of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen.
On this occasion, President Vo Van Thuong also sent flowers and greetings to Party General Secretary and President of Laos Sisoulith and Cambodian King Sihamoni. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent flowers and greetings to his Lao and Cambodian counterparts - Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and Prime Minister Hun Sen. National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue sent flowers and greetings to Chairman of the Lao National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane, President of the Cambodian Senate Say Chhum and President of the Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin. Other Vietnamese Party and Government officials extended their greetings to Lao and Cambodian officials on this occasion.
On April 15, meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong stressed that Mr. Antony Blinken's first official visit to Vietnam in the capacity of US Secretary of State is of significance as it takes place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership. The General Secretary also highly valued outcomes of his phone talks with President Joe Biden on March 29, during which they compared notes on major orientations for the Vietnam-US relations, particularly high-level meetings and exchanges in order to enhance mutual understanding and expand cooperation in trade-investment, science-technology, education-training and others.
At the meeting on the same day, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized that Vietnam considers the United States one of its leading important partners and wishes to promote the comprehensive partnership with the US on the basis of respect for each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institution of each other. To further deepen and develop the bilateral relations, Prime Minister Chinh suggested the two sides increase the exchange of delegations and contacts at all levels. He proposed the US help Vietnam to promote cooperation in overcoming war aftermath, and continue to support cooperation between the two countries in important fields such as trade - investment, science - technology, education - training, defence - security as well as in such new areas as digital economy, green transition, circular economy, innovation, climate change response and infrastructure development.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-France diplomatic relations (April 12, 1973 - 2023), Vietnamese State, Government and National Assembly leaders have sent congratulatory letters to their French counterparts. President Vo Van Thuong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent letters of congratulations to French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, respectively. National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue extended his letters of congratulations to President of the Senate Gerard Larcher and President of the National Assembly Yael Braun Pivet. Also on the occasion, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son sent his letter of congratulations to French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.
In the afternoon of April 11, President Vo Van Thuong and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation arrived in Hanoi, wrapping up their two-day official visit to Laos at the invitation of General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President Thongloun Sisoulith. President Thuong engaged in 18 activities in Vientiane, creating a new impetus for Vietnam-Laos cooperation across the board, contributing to realising high-level agreements reached by the two Parties and countries, especially the Vietnam-Laos cooperation strategy agreement for the 2021-2030 period and the Vietnam-Laos Bilateral Cooperation Agreement for 2021-2025.
The two leaders witnessed the signing and exchange of two cooperation agreements, including a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in technology and innovation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Lao Ministry of Technology and Communications, and another on cooperation in science between the MoST and the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports.
|President Vo Van Thuong and General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President Thongloun Sisoulith witnessed the signing and exchange of cooperation agreements in Vientiane, Laos, on April 11, 2023. (Photo: VNA)|
On April 13, receiving Mr. Park Hark Kyu, Head of Corporate Management Office at DX Division of Samsung Electronics, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh commended operations of Samsung companies in Vietnam and their contributions to economic restructuring, boosting exports and growth, promoting supporting industries and creating jobs in Vietnam. The Prime Minister suggested Samsung expand its investment and set higher targets for 2023 and the coming years.
On April 13, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received Mr. Jormsup Lochaya, Chairman of Super Energy Group of Thailand. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly appreciated Super Energy Group's effective business investment activities, especially for the renewable energy projects in the central and southern provinces.
On April 13, receiving newly-appointed Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested Vietnam and Switzerland enhance all-level exchanges and meetings, creating momentum for the expansion of cooperation across spheres. He emphasised that the Vietnam-Switzerland relationship is developing intensively and extensively in all fields, particularly politics-diplomacy, trade-investment and development cooperation.
On April 14, in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha received Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam Oh Young-ju, asking the Ambassador to help promote the cooperative ties between the two countries in climate change response and just energy transition.
On April 14, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang, Head of the Inter-sectoral Steering Committee on international integration in the fields of politics, security and defense, chaired a meeting of the Steering Committee. The meeting aimed to consolidate the entire apparatus of the Steering Committee, review and evaluate the outcomes of the implementation of international integration in politics, security and defense since the 13th National Congress and the direction of implementation of international integration in 2023 and the coming years.
On April 12, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha received British Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Therese Coffey in Hanoi. Deputy Prime Minister Ha appreciated assistance from the UK and other G7 countries joining the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) for Vietnam to realise the commitments made at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
On April 13, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang hosted a reception for UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis in Hanoi. Deputy Prime Minister Quang spoke highly of the central role of the UN in keeping peace and promoting sustainable development in the world, stressing that the role played by the UN becomes even more important in the current international and regional situation.
On April 11 evening, attending the traditional New Year Bunpimay celebration held by the Lao Embassy in Vietnam, on behalf of the leaders of the Party, State and people of Vietnam, Standing Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man extended the New Year greetings to the Party, State and people of Laos. He stressed that the Vietnam-Laos ties have become an exemplary, faithful, and pure relationship, and an invaluable common asset of the two nations. He wished Laos will reap further successes in its causes of national construction, development and protection.
|Vietnamese leaders attended Lao Embassy celebration of traditional New Year.|
Activities of the Foreign Minister
On the morning of April 15, at the Government Guest House, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son welcomed and held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. During the talks with the US Secretary of State, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son suggested the two sides step up all-level delegation exchanges and contacts this year which marks the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive partnership, and deepen the bilateral relations practically, for mutual benefits, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hold talks. (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)|
Within the framework of the visit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the new US Embassy Complex in Hanoi; has a meeting with the press, visited Hanoi University of Science and Technology.
On April 12, receiving UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son called on United Nations (UN) organisations to step up collaboration with Vietnam in prioritized areas. According to Foreign Minister Son, the prioritized areas include mobilising resources to successfully implement the Vietnam-UN Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development Cooperation 2022-2026, which helps accelerate the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Vietnam; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to Vietnam during its socio-economic recovery and development. The Foreign Minister affirmed that Vietnam considers the UN one of its top priority partners and always remembers the valuable cooperation and support of the UN during its development in nearly 50 years.
On April 11, in an interview on the outcomes of President Vo Van Thuong’s official visit to Laos from April 10 to 11, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son stressed that the visit has contributed to creating a new impetus for cooperation between the two countries in 2023 across all key fields, from politics and diplomacy to security, economy, education and training, science and technology, culture, sports and tourism on the basis of the effective implementation of their high-level agreements. According to the Foreign Minister, the visit lasted about 30 hours and covered 18 different activities, including talks and meetings with leaders and former leaders of the Party, State, Government and National Assembly of Laos.
On April 14, speaking at the opening of the Hai Phong-Hong Kong (China) Connection Seminar, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc affirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs always considers economic diplomacy as a fundamental and central task, an important driving force for rapid and sustainable development of the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been implementing many new ways to further promote its role of a bridge, bringing foreign partners closer to Vietnamese localities and businesses.
On April 14, the 12th Vietnam-France Decentralised Cooperation Conference with the theme "Local cooperation: The driving force behind recovery and sustainable and comprehensive development after the Covid-19 pandemic" opened in Hanoi. France is the only country with which Vietnam shares a mechanism of periodic and rotating conferences on localities’ cooperation. Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang affirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the central focal point in supporting the development of cooperative relations between Vietnamese localities and foreign localities, including France, continue to closely coordinate with relevant agencies and localities to make local foreign affairs one of the pillars of the Vietnam-France strategic partnership.
|12th Vietnam-France Decentralised Cooperation conference opens in Hanoi on April 14, 2023. (Photo: VNA)|
On April 15, the 12th Vietnam-France Decentralised Cooperation conference wrapped up successfully. The Joint Statement issued at the conference pointed out that environmental and climate changes are caused by human activities, reaffirming the determination to cooperate, based on the potential of experience exchanges in sustainable development, especially effective water management.
On April 12, Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung had a meeting with nearly 200 lecturers and students of the University of Virginia (UVA) in Virginia, US, as part of the series "Dialogue with Ambassadors" of the University’s Department of Politics. The Ambassador highlighted Vietnam's socio-economic achievements, its potential, open external policies and rising position in the region and the world, spotlighting the progress in the Vietnam-US relationship 28 years after the normalisation of their relations and 10 years of the bilateral comprehensive partnership.
On April 12, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in collaboration with the French Embassy in Vietnam held the inauguration ceremony of the Francophone Library and the exchange program of Vietnam-France diplomatic relations.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership, French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery has granted an interview on the achievements of bilateral cooperation between France and Vietnam.
On this occasion, in an interview granted to the World and Vietnam Report, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang highlighted the traditional relations between the two countries and their diverse, multi-sectoral cooperation, which have been strengthened and developed comprehensively.
On April 10, on the occasion of Lao traditional New Year (Bunpimay) 2023, Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet visited the Lao Embassy in Vietnam to extend New Year greetings. On the same day, Deputy Minister Do Hung Viet congratulated the Cambodian Embassy in Hanoi on the occasion of the Cambodian traditional New Year Chol Chnam Thmay.
On April 10 in Algiers, outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Nguyen Thanh Vinh had a meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, thanked Algeria’s relevant agencies for assistance and support during his working term in the country. Both Vietnam and Algeria wish to raise their economic ties to new heights to match their cooperation potential, said Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Vinh.
On April 10, the 160th Repatriation Ceremony of the remains of US service members missing in the Vietnam War (MIA) took place at Da Nang International Airport, Da Nang City, Vietnam. The Vietnamese side handed over to the US side two sets of remains, which were the result of a joint search in Nghe An and Quang Binh provinces from February-April, 2023.
On April 6 and 12, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, led a delegation of the Vietnamese Mission and agencies in New York to visit the Permanent Missions of Laos and Cambodia to the UN on the occasion of the traditional New Year Bunpimay of Laos and Chol Chnam Thmay of Cambodia in 2023.
On April 11, in Hanoi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, hosted a reception for Regional Representative for Asia - Pacific of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) Edgar Doerig who came to present his credentials.
Within the framework of Vietnam's ASEAN-Korea coordination framework for the 2021-2024 period, the ASEAN Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the ASEAN-Korea Development Cooperation Program Management Unit (AKPMT) organized the Workshop on capacity building for ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF) project from April 13-14 in Hanoi.