|President Truong Tan Sang (second left) arrived in the Jose Marti Habana Airport in Cuba's capital on Monday night beginning his two-day official visit to the Caribbean country after his trip to New York. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang attended the United Nations Peacekeeping Summit held in New York on Monday as part of the ongoing 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
In his remarks at the event - attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US President Barack Obama and the leaders of nearly 50 countries - President Sang affirmed Viet Nam's role as one of the contributors to UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs) since 2014.
He said Viet Nam would soon dispatch level-two field hospital and military engineer units and continue sending liaison officers and staff officers to UNPKOs.
"The 21st century poses even more challenging tasks," the President said, suggesting some points for UNPKOs to be more successful and effective in the future.
"First, it is essential for PKOs to uphold the principles of respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, impartiality and non-interference in the internal affairs and of prior consent of the parties concerned," he said.
"Second, procedures need to be further reformed to improve the prompt deployment and timely response," he added. "At the same time, measures should be adopted to best guarantee security and safety for peacekeeping personnel."
He added, "Third, stronger political will and commitments are required to maintain adequate resources, both financial and human, for PKOs."
In conclusion, the President thanked the UN and other countries for assisting Viet Nam in its efforts to participate in UNPKOs.
"We look forward to the continued co-operation and support in the future," he said.
On the same day, Sang attended the Policy Dialogue on Viet Nam-US relations hosted by the Asia Society in New York, where he stated that Viet Nam-US ties have become an indispensable element in the international community's concerted efforts to maintain peace, security and development in the region.
He said common interests served as the driving force for the two nations to overcome their war legacies and differences to become comprehensive partners today.
The President told the audience – including Asia Society's President and CEO Josette Sheeran, Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and nearly 100 US government officials, scholars and business people - about several proposals to take advantage of co-operative opportunities and deepen the bilateral comprehensive partnership efficiently and practically.
He added that at the regional level, Viet Nam and the US need to co-operate closely with each other and with other countries to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, co-operation and development in Asia–Pacific through a number of measures.
The President also answered queries of US officials, scholars and businesses on Viet Nam's development prospects, potential and opportunities when joining TPP negotiations, and its relations with big nations.
The same day, the Vietnamese state leader visited the Associated Press (AP) headquarters in New York and granted an interview on Viet Nam's socio-economic affairs and foreign policy, as well as regional and international situations.
Ties with France
During his stay in New York, President Sang met with French President Francois Hollande. He affirmed that Viet Nam attached importance to developing all-around relations with France as one of its top partners.
The two sides expressed their joy at developments in bilateral relations after the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013, while agreeing to promote delegation exchanges at all levels in the future, thus deepening bilateral co-operation dialogue on strategy, security, defence and economics.
They agreed to strengthen their economic ties, stressing that the two sides should encourage their businesses to focus on fields that are strong in France, but are still developing in Viet Nam. Those fields include infrastructure and "smart city" development, public transport, aviation and space studies, energy, agriculture, food processing, the environment and health care.
The two Presidents agreed to promote trilateral co-operation projects involving Viet Nam, France and African nations.
They saw eye-to-eye on the need to enhance co-ordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and in international activities, especially the UN peacekeeping operations and efforts to cope with climate change.
Regarding regional issues of common concern, President Sang called on France to continue upholding its important role in maintaining peace and stability, ensuring navigation and aviation freedom in the East Sea and solving disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
He affirmed that Viet Nam will serve as a bridge to connect France and other ASEAN member nations.
In another meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman, President Sang affirmed Viet Nam's determination to work with the US and other member countries to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement's negotiations shortly.
To boost bilateral trade and sign the agreement by the end of this year, the President suggested the US proactively satisfy Viet Nam's proposals on the opening of markets and facilitation of Vietnamese exports, including cutting down trade barriers imposed on Vietnamese goods.
He also called for strengthened co-operation in the spirit of the two countries' Joint Vision Statement to implement TPP agreement commitments in line with international and Vietnamese laws, recognise Viet Nam's market economy status and reduce anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits against Vietnamese tra and basa fish and shrimp.
In turn, Froman suggested both countries boost their co-operation to maintain their impressive economic growth.
The two sides should exert efforts to address several issues with differing opinions to complete TPP negotiations shortly, he added.
Visit to Cuba
After his trip to New York, President Sang arrived in Jose Marti Habana Airport in Cuba's capital on Monday night, thus beginning his two-day official visit to the Caribbean country.
As scheduled, he will hold talks with Cuban President of the State Council and the Council of Ministers Raul Castro and meet Cuban Parliament Speaker Esteban Lazo.
He will attend a Viet Nam-Cuba business forum and the signing ceremony of a co-operation agreement for a project to construct a five-star hotel complex in Cuba. He will also inspect a Calimete rice production project before concluding his visit. — VNS