HA NOI — Viet Nam and Australia agreed yesterday to boost their co-operation and exchanges at international and regional forums and lift their relations to a higher status.
The agreement was made at the first strategic inter-ministerial dialogue in Canberra between Vietnamese deputy ministers of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Vinh and National Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh, and Australian deputy secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Gillian Bird and deputy secretary of Defence Peter Jennings.
Both sides expressed their pleasure at the good results their current relations enjoyed in all fields, making special mention of two-way trade turnover which reached US$4.6 billion last year, 12 per cent higher than in 2010.
They affirmed that Viet Nam and Australia would continue to implement the Viet Nam-Australia Action Programme during the 2010-13 period and boost visits and exchanges of relevant officers at all levels.
Australian leaders said that the country would continue to help Viet Nam in education and ODA.
The two sides exchanged information on their respective policies related to diplomacy and national defence issues.
The two sides supported the efforts made by ASEAN to strengthen connection and build up community as well as ASEAN's central role in setting up a regional co-operation structure; and at the same time appreciated ASEAN's important contributions to peace, security and development co-operation in the region.
Accordingly, the two sides affirmed their co-ordination to further enhance and promote the efficiency of the regional co-operation mechanisms, including EAS, ARF, ADMM+.
They also put stress on the enhancement of regional co-operation aimed at effectively responding to the current challenges such as climate change, rising sea level, water resource security, including the sustainable use of Mekong River's water.
The Australian side affirmed its continued co-operation with Viet Nam to effectively carry out its assistance projects in related areas
They also emphasised the importance of ensuring peace, stability and security as well as maritime safety in the East Sea, settling of any disputes by peaceful measures, complying to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and promptly creating the Code of Conduct on the Eas Sea (COC).
Measures to tighten their relations in preventing terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction were also discussed. — VNS