|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, yesterday signed a joint statement on strategic partnership between the two countries. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
KUALA LUMPUR (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Rajak agreed to upgrade the existing Viet Nam-Malaysia comprehensive partnership to strategic partnership level at talks in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Both PMs spoke highly of the development in both width and depth of bilateral relations, and discussed how to further enhance the ties in a practical and effective manner.
In terms of politics, they agreed to intensify the exchange of high-ranking delegations, expand co-operation through the Party and National Assembly channels and people-to-people exchanges.
This led to an agreement to design an action programme for 2015-18 to implement contents of the strategic partnership.
The two sides agreed on the early establishment of a deputy ministerial-level defence dialogue mechanism and the signing of a memorandum of understanding on joint patrol, hotline contact, search and rescue co-ordination, and combatting pirates.
They agreed not to allow any individual or organisation use each country's territory to conduct actions against the other.
Both agreed that trade co-operation was the highlight of the relationship. Malaysia is a leading trade partner of and the eighth largest investor in Viet Nam.
The two leaders vowed to foster trade growth within the framework of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the ASEAN Economic Community, while speeding up the signing of a Government-level memorandum of understanding on rice trade for 2015-20.
They also agreed to push the implementation of specific projects in the key sectors of oil and gas, liquefied gas, electronics, consumer goods and food processing.
The PMs saw eye to eye on the need for a co-operation mechanism at the deputy foreign ministerial level to address sea and ocean-related issues, the establishment of a hotline on illegal fishing, and organising joint patrols at border and overlapping areas of the sea.
They also exchanged opinions on regional and international issues of mutual concern, agreeing to boost unity and maintain the central role and common voice of ASEAN in matters relating to security and the interests of each country and the region, especially as the ASEAN Community will come into being by the end of this year.
The PMs shared concerns over recent developments in the East Sea, which they said had negatively affected trust as well as peace, security and stability in the region.
They reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea and tackling all disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations on the Law of the Sea.
They also said it was essential for the parties involved to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, to avoid any actions that accelerate tensions in the region, including coercing or using force to unilaterally change the status quo, and to work towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
PM Dung said he appreciated Malaysia's point of view and positive contributions as a country also claiming sovereignty in the East Sea and as the Chair of ASEAN in 2015.
After the talks, the two PMs signed a joint statement on the Viet Nam-Malaysia strategic partnership framework.
They also witnessed the signing of co-operation documents on licensing in principle for CIMB bank, labour co-operation and co-operation between Petro Viet Nam and Petronas.
At a joint press conference, PM Najib Rajak said the decision to elevate bilateral ties to strategic partnership would open up a new era in the two countries' relations.
PM Dung said the Viet Nam-Malaysia strategic partnership would not only create new driving forces for bilateral cooperation but also contribute positively to the ASEAN Community and to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.
PM Dung also met leading Malaysian enterprises and attended a banquet hosted by his Malaysian counterpart. — VNS