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Vietnam, EU boost comprehensive cooperation

Vietnam always treasures relations with the European Union (EU), and is willing to discuss with the bloc issues of mutual concern, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on December 15.

He made the statement while meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell on the sidelines of the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid, Spain.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM asked the EU to push for the European Parliament’s approval of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IPA), so as to bring benefits to businesses and citizens of both sides.

Borrell, for his part, recalled his fine impression of the Vietnamese people and land, remarking that as Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies in Asia, both sides have huge potential to develop multi-faceted cooperation in the fields of politics, security, defence, economy, culture, and peacekeeping activities, among others.

Both sides expressed their delight over the comprehensive development of the Vietnam – EU relations. Vietnam and the EU have mechanisms for regular exchanges in various sectors, and inked many important agreements, laying legal foundation for them to further their ties towards celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations (1990-2020).

Regarding regional and international issues, the two sides laid stress on the necessity to maintain peace, stability and the rule of law, and settle disputes via peaceful means in line with international law.

They pledged to continue enhancing coordination at multilateral forums like the United Nations, ASEM, and ASEAN forums, particularly in 2020 when Vietnam is playing the roles as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.