|Cuban President Raul Castro and his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang (right) review an honour guard at the Revolution Palace in La Havana on Tuesday.—VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HAVANA (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang held talks with President Raul Castro Ruz in Havana, Cuba on Tuesday (Cuban time), seeking to bolster co-operation between Viet Nam and Cuba. President Sang relayed thoughts from Vietnamese Party and State leaders to President Raul Castrol, Leader Fidel Castro and other high-level Cuban officials.
He congratulated the Cuban people on their success in updating the national economic model and in diplomatic affairs, saying these advancements have created momentum for Cuba to increase its prestige and role in the regional and global arena.
The leader expressed delight at visiting Cuba as the two countries are celebrating the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties, thanking the Cuban leaders and people for their support of the Vietnamese people through the past 50 years.
President Raul Castro welcomed President Sang's visit, saying it contributed to deepening solidarity, co-operation and trust between the two Parties, States and people.
He stated that Cuba treasures Viet Nam's support for its past revolution and at the seventh Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for Solidarity with Cuba held in Ha Noi on September 8-9.
He congratulated Viet Nam on its reform accomplishments over nearly three decades and said Cuba hoped to learn from Viet Nam's successes.
The leaders agreed that Viet Nam-Cuba relations have reaped positive developments across many sectors, spurred by all-level delegation exchanges, effective bilateral co-operative mechanisms and the implementation of the bilateral economic agenda signed in March 2014.
The Presidents pointed out that the two countries have untapped potential in economics, trade, investment, science-technology, aquaculture, processing industry, energy, healthcare-medicine and education-training.
They therefore noted the need to maintain inter-Government Committee meetings, strategic dialogues and political consultancies between deputy foreign ministers.
At the same time, legal frameworks should be refined and a new trade agreement should be inked to maximise economic, trade and investment co-operation.
The two countries need to improve the efficiency of joint agriculture and aquaculture projects; facilitate business market access; and carry out joint venture projects on oil and gas production, tourism infrastructure construction, building material, consumer goods, telecom software and devices production.
The leaders declared that the two countries will boost collaboration and support at international organisations and multilateral forums.
They affirmed their support for dealing with sovereignty disputes through peaceful measures and with respect for international law.
President Sang took the occasion to hand over 5,000 tonnes of rice as a gift from the Vietnamese leaders and people to the Cuban people.
He invited President Raul Castro to return to Viet Nam for another visit, which was accepted with pleasure.
The same day, President Sang laid a wreath at the late President Ho Chi Minh's statue in Peace Park in Havana.
Later, he met with representatives of the Vietnamese community in Cuba and Cubans who used to work in Viet Nam at the Vietnamese Embassy.
The Cuban veteran experts reviewed the time they spent living in Viet Nam and spoke highly of the country's reform achievements.
The President hailed the Party, State and people of Cuba for their efforts in national construction, especially the normalisation of relations with the US.
He briefed the event participants on the outcomes of his meetings with Cuban leaders and thanked Cuba for its support to Viet Nam.
During the meeting, President Sang presented 50 sets of computers to leaders of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples and the Cuba-Viet Nam Friendship Association.
The President also visited schools named after Vietnamese figures Nguyen Van Troi and Vo Thi Thang and laid a wreath at the Jose Marti statue.
Later the same day, President Raul Castro presented the Jose Marti Order – Cuba's highest distinction to Heads of State, Government leaders and famous foreign people – to President Sang in recognition of his contributions to peace and humanity.
Viet Nam wants greater traditional solidarity and co-operation with Cuba, President Truong Tan Sang told President of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba Esteban Lazo on Tuesday.
At a meeting in Havana, the first activity of his official visit to Cuba that began on September 28, the Vietnamese leader appreciated the co-operation between the two countries' legislative bodies, both bilateral and multilateral, as well as the Cuban National Assembly's significant contributions to the success of the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) that was hosted by Viet Nam earlier this year.
The president congratulated Cuba on its diplomatic victories and economic achievements, attributing them to the Cuban people's tireless efforts over the past five decades.
He showed his admiration for Cuba's protection and promotion of revolutionary fruits in social affairs, healthcare, education and biotechnology, besides sports, and its expanded collaboration with many developing nations, thus elevating the country's prestige and position in the world arena.
President Sang used the occasion to convey National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung's invitation to Esteban Lazo to visit Viet Nam again.
The Cuban legislative leader said he was delighted with the two countries' special fraternal relationship, which was initiated by late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Cuban Leader Fidel Castro 55 years ago, saying the ties have been strengthened in all realms, effectively serving each side's revolutionary cause.
He thanked Vietnamese leaders and the people for their solidarity and support for Cuba, especially during the most difficult period of the Cuban Revolution.
The Cuban National Assembly was determined to work with its Vietnamese counterpart to enhance bilateral relations, especially in economy, trade and investment, and at inter-parliamentary organisations, striving to make legislative ties a crucial factor in the special Viet Nam-Cuba relationship, he said.
Cuban was ready to work as a bridge for Viet Nam to foster its multi-faceted co-operation with countries in the Latin American and Caribbean regions, he said.
The Cuban leader said he hope to visit Viet Nam in 2016, and to welcome the Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman during his official visit to Cuba.
Both sides agreed to increase the sharing of experiences and lessons from respective development courses to contribute to improving the quality and efficiency of policy planning and law-making. — VNS