|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during his working visit to Algeria. – VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
ALGIERS (VNS) — The Vietnamese Government wants to consolidate co-operation with Algeria, which is a priority in the Southeast Asian nation's foreign policy, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told Algerian President Abdel-aziz Bouteflika on Monday.
At a meeting in Algiers, the PM congratulated the Algerian leader on his re-election for a fourth term and attainments that the Algerian people had achieved in national stability, reconciliation, reform, and development.
He said the Vietnamese people remembered Alge-ria's enormous assistance in the struggle for national liberation and development.
Briefing President Bouteflika on talks he held with PM Abdelmalek Sellal, the Vietnamese leader said the two sides discussed issues of mutual concern, especially on ways to deepen co-operation.
They reached high consensus on measures and orientations to bolster in investment, trade, labour, health care, culture, and tourism.
President Bouteflika said he highly valued outcomes of the talks between the two PMs, especially an agreement to tighten links in politics, the economy, culture, education, defence and security.
He also expressed his support to Viet Nam's stance on peacefully settling disputes in the East Sea with respect to international law, ultimately ensuring peace, stability, and maritime security and safety in the region.
At the meeting, PM Dung presented the Algerian President with memoirs written in French by former Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh.
At another meeting the same day, he asked the Vietnamese Embassy to work harder to enhance Viet Nam-Algeria relations.
During a meeting with Speaker of the Algerian Council of the Nation, Abdelkader Bensalah, in Algiers, PM Dung said he hoped the council would support collaboration with Viet Nam in economics, trade, investment, and oil and gas.
The Vietnamese leader rejoiced at growing bilateral relations in various areas, adding that Viet Nam was willing to enhance comprehensive co-operation with Algeria, particularly in economics.
He said he wanted the two countries to continue to support one another at multilateral forums as well as within international organisations.
He also conveyed an invitation from the chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly, Nguyen Sinh Hung, to Speaker Bensalah to visit Viet Nam.
The Speaker suggested both sides build efficient co-operation mechanisms to bring about benefits in trade and investment as well as advocate for one another at multilateral forums and within international organisations.
PM Dung yesterday visited Sonatrach, Algeria's State-owned oil and gas company, and attended the inauguration ceremony for a collection system in the Bir Seba oil field development project.
He was accompanied by Algerian Prime Minister Abdel-malek Sellal.
Sonatrach is partnering with Viet Nam's PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) in the Groupement Bir Seba joint venture that exploits Bir Seba and MOM fields at lots 433a and 416b in Algeria's Sahara desert.
The joint venture is seen a successful model of cooperation between Viet Nam and Algeria, and a lucrative overseas investment for the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (Petro-Vietnam).
Sonatrach, PVEP and Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Company (PTTEP) have respective stakes of 25 per cent, 40 per cent and 35 per cent in the project.
Launched in 2002, it is scheduled to exploit the first commercial oil batch from Bir Seba and MOM fields in July this year with an output of 2,900 tonnes of oil, or 20,000 barrels per day. This will be raised to 5,800 tonnes (40,000 barrels) per day between 2018 and 2021. In 25 years of operation, the project is expected to produce about 30 million tonnes or 200 million barrels.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (Right) receives President of the Algeria-Viet Nam Friendship Association Cherfaoui Tayeb in Algiers City yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
According to PetroVietnam, the firm will bring home up to U$$150 million from oil sales, and will recoup its investment in six years.
Dung described the project as a symbol of the successful partnership between Viet Nam and Algeria that promotes traditional friendship and sound co-operation between the two countries and paves the way for expanded collaboration in other fields.
He praised the work that Vietnamese and Algerian workers and engineers have put into the project for over 10 years.
Exploit more fields
He said the Algerian Government has agreed to allow the Sonatrach and PVEP to exploit other nearby oil fields in the future.
For its part, the Vietnamese Government will support and create favourable conditions for the two firms to conduct exploration and exploitation activities in Viet Nam's continental shelf as well as in a third country, Dung pledged.
At the Sonatrach headquarters, Dung and his Algerian counterpart witnessed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between Sonatrach and PetroVietnam.
PM Dung yesterday said the Algeria-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians' Group should continue contributing to the growth of multi-faceted relations between the two countries.
Receiving the group's president, Hocine Maaloum, in Algiers, the premier expressed his pleasure visiting Algeria, which Viet Nam considers a close partner. He spoke highly of the development of bilateral ties from the days when both countries fought for national liberation.
He said the close collaboration between the parliaments of both countries was an asset that formed a firm foundation for strengthening comprehensive bilateral co-operation.
Hocine Maaloum said the Algerian parliament would continually support and boost Algeria's partnership with Viet Nam in all areas.
He hoped the two legislative bodies would speed up co-operation programmes and the sharing of legislative experiences in order to foster co-operation between the two Governments.
PM Dung yesterday also received President of the Algeria-Viet Nam Friendship Association Cherfaoui Tayeb.
PM Dung will start a two-day visit to Portugal today where he will co-chair the 2015 Blue Business Forum with his Portuguese counterpart.
According to the Vietnamese Ambassador to France and Portugal, Nguyen Ngoc Son, the PM will also host a Vietnamese economic forum. Most notably, he will witness the signing of several bilateral agreements, including pacts on double tax avoidance, tourism co-operation and joint activities between the two finance ministries. — VNS