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NA Vice Chairman holds talks with leaders of Spanish parliament

NA Vice Chairman holds talks with leaders of Spanish parliament Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man held separate talks with Vice President of the Senate Cristina Narbona and First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Alfonso Rodriguez in Madrid on March 16.

Man, who is on a visit to Spain, congratulated the country on its holding of the rotating European Council Presidency in the second half of 2023 and asked it to further promote and turn the ASEAN - EU cooperation into a priority in the EU’s agenda.

He thanked Spain for ratifying the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) early and called on the country, during its European Council Presidency, to help promote the ratification of the EVIPA by the parliaments of other EU members, thus creating momentum for bilateral investment on the basis of equality and mutual benefits and helping provide optimum conditions for European firms operating in Vietnam.

The leader proposed Spain continue supporting Vietnam’s candidacy for membership in suitable UN mechanisms and keep close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the UN, the ASEAN - EU framework, and the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Appealing for Spain’s support for the European Commission’s early removal of its “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood exports to bring about benefits to both sides, Man affirmed that Vietnam has been exerting efforts to fully and seriously implement the EU’s recommendations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to sustainably develop the fishery sector.

The NA Vice Chairman also expressed his hope that Spain will keep raising a strong voice advocating ASEAN and Vietnam’s stances and viewpoints, including those on ensuring security and safety of navigation and overflight in the region; peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and supporting negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

He thanked and suggested Spain continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and integrate into the local society so that they can help strengthen the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.

In terms of relations between the Vietnamese and Spanish parliaments, both sides voiced their delight at the flourishing cooperation as seen in the maintained coordination and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia - Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), along with delegation exchanges, especially at high levels.

Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, Vice President of the Senate Narbona said both the Senate and the Congress of Deputies of Spain have some parliamentary friendship groups, so the two countries can establish similar groups to boost exchanges.

Spain opened a trade office in Vietnam in 2022 to facilitate Spanish businesses’ operations and contribute to bilateral economic ties, she noted, adding that it is strong at expressway construction, energy, electricity, and water treatment and ready to take part in projects in Vietnam.

Regarding Vietnam’s proposals, she promised to deliver them to the Senate and related ministries and agencies for consideration to help further enhance all-round relations.

For his part, Vice President of the Congress of Deputies Rodriguez suggested the two sides promote high-level mutual visits, saying amid the volatile global situation, both Vietnam and Spain hold many advantages to jointly tap into, including Vietnam’s important geographical location in the Asia-Pacific region.

During its EU Council Presidency, Spain will focus on four priorities, namely cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation in guaranteeing maritime security, the connectivity of economies, and natural disaster response, Rodriguez said.

Also on March 16, Man had a working session with Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon, during which he said Vietnam always treasures and wants to strengthen relations with Spain./.