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Ceremonies held abroad to commemorate late PM Phan Van Khai

Embassies and representative offices of Vietnam in foreign countries have held ceremonies to pay tribute to former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, who passed away on March 17 at the age of 85.

At a memorial service in the US on March 20, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh highlighted PM Khai’s contributions to the Vietnam-US relationship through his visit to the US in June 2005.

This is the first visit to the US by a senior Vietnamese leader, he said, adding that it took place on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of bilateral ties and 20 years of Vietnam’s Doi Moi (Renewal) cause. 

During the trip, the former leader emphasised leaving the past behind and looking towards the future in Vietnam-US relations, and painted the picture of a Vietnam on the path of renewal, and regional and international integration, Vinh said.

Delegations from foreign countries like Laos and Myanmar came to pay homage to the former leader.

On March 20-21, the Vietnamese mission to the UN also held a ceremony in New York to commemorate former PM Khai, with the presence of delegations of foreign countries in the UN, US friends and Vietnamese people.

Ambassador Georgi Pannytov, head of the Bulgarian mission to the UN, said that former PM Khai was an architect of Vietnam’s international economic integration and a strategist of the national economy’s prosperity.

Representatives of Ethiopia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Djibouti missions to the UN also paid respects to the late leader.

A similar event was hosted by Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (UN) and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 20.

Director General of the International Organisation for Migration William Lacy Swing and Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong, among others, paid their respects at a shrine which will continue receiving delegations until March 22.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland also held a memorial service for former PM Khai on March 20-21.

At a commemorative ceremony held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK on March 20, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam-UK Network Warwick Morris, who was UK Ambassador to Vietnam for 2000-2003, said former the PM was very friendly.

Advocating economic reform and private economy, the former PM signed the bilateral trade agreement between Vietnam and the US in 2001, and helped Vietnam join the WTO in 2006, he said.

UK-Vietnam trade ties have taken off during that period and advanced in the following years, he said, commenting on Vietnam’s stable economic growth during former PM Khai’s term in office.

Former PM Khai was also remembered in Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Israel, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Czech Republic.