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Deputy FM lauds Vietnam’s role in ASEAN-India ties

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung has said since Vietnam undertook the role of coordinator in August 2015, the ASEAN-India ties have thrived. 
He made the statement in an interview recently granted to the media on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to India to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 69th anniversary of Republic Day of India from January 24-26. 
Dung said the most important outcome of the Summit is the adoption of the Delhi Declaration that outlines the vision, orientations and measures to lift ASEAN-India strategic partnership to a new height, adding that both sides will further enhance their comprehensive cooperation across politics-security, socio-economy-culture, connectivity and development gap narrowing. 
He expressed his belief that the growing ASEAN-India ties will make practical contributions to the ASEAN Community building. 
According to the deputy minister, since Vietnam took over the role of coordinator for ASEAN-India ties in August 2015, bilateral political ties have unceasingly been strengthened through dialogue and cooperative mechanisms at all levels. The implementation of the ASEAN-India action plan for 2016-2020 made good progress, with 67 out of 130 lines of action carried out. At Vietnam’s proposal, the two sides worked out of a list of 26 priorities for 2016-2018, helping define focus for the action plan, hence greater effectiveness. 
ASEAN-India cooperation has also expanded to new fields, especially the sea-based economy.  
Vietnam has helped accelerate the completion of a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the ASEAN-India Centre in New Delhi, thereby laying a legal foundation for the centre’s operations and raising public awareness of ASEAN and promoting bilateral exchanges. 
About Vietnam’s specific contributions to the success of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, Dung said the delegation proposed a list of commemorative events and co-chaired the drafting of the Delhi Declaration. 
Speaking at the summit, PM Phuc said ASEAN and India need to see trade and investment as a key driving force of their strategic partnership, accelerate negotiations for the early signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and increase connectivity to ensure inter-regional sustainability. 
He called for efforts to build trustworthy collaboration in the spirit of compliance with international law, equality, mutual respect for the sake of peace and stability; promote trade liberalisation, and expand comprehensive cooperation and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, Dung said. 
The Deputy FM commented that achievements during Vietnam’s tenure as coordinator will create momentum for bilateral ties in the coming years.-VNA/VNP