|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets yesterday with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has confirmed Viet Nam's consistent policy of working alongside the Philippines to enhance bilateral collaboration.
Speaking to the visiting Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario in Ha Noi yesterday, Dung stressed that Viet Nam and the Philippines had friendly ties as members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), thus sharing mutual interests in the East Sea and responsibilities in building a strong and prosperous ASEAN Community.
Dung called on the two countries to increase all-level delegation exchanges and further bolster economic links, especially in rice trading, investment and tourism.
The Vietnamese leader focused on co-operating in fields such as fisheries, science-technology, culture, security, defence, and people-to-people exchanges.
The Vietnamese Government would create good conditions for Philippine businesses to make investments in Viet Nam, he said.
Rosario said the Philippines attached great importance to co-operation with Viet Nam, noting that during the 8th session of the bilateral co-operation committee in Ha Noi earlier the same day, the two sides reached important agreements in economics, sea and ocean, fisheries, defence, and people-to-people exchanges.
He said that using or threatening to use force was not a solution to addressing the East Sea issue.
Disputes must be solved via peaceful means and on the ground of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he stressed.
Involved parties need to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and hold result-oriented negotiations to build a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) as soon as possible for peace and development in the region, he said.
He also agreed with the Vietnamese leader to continue working together in handling violations of fishermen in the spirit of humanitarianism and co-operation between the two countries.
Viet Nam and the Philippines have agreed to establish a strategic partnership to strengthen co-operation in their countries' economic and national development. The announcement was made yesterday by Philippines' Secretary of Foreign Affairs Rosario at a meeting to review the two countries' relationships in Ha Noi.
Rosario and the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh co-chaired the 8th meeting of the Viet Nam-Philippines Bilateral Co-operation Committee, which touched upon topics from trade ties to regional and international issues. Both reiterated the importance of peace, stability, security, and navigational freedom in the East Sea, and looked forward to the completion of Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
"Upgrading the Viet Nam-Philippines relationship to a new height will not only push forward more bilateral ties, but it will also make a positive contribution to peace, co-operation and development in the region, as well as unity within ASEAN," said Deputy PM Minh.
Minh said the two sides reviewed results from the last meeting in 2013 and put forward measures to boost their relations moving forward.
With sound economic and commercial ties already in place, host and guest agreed on a two-way trade target of over US$3 billion by 2016.
They agreed on a plan for the Presidents of the two countries to hold talks on the occasion of President Truong Tan Sang's visit to the Philippines to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum summit slated for November.
"To maintain rice supplies and food security for the Philippines, the two sides will sign off on protocols to supplement the 2014-16 rice trade agreement when President Sang is in the Philippines," said Minh.
Rosario thanked Viet Nam for being a "trustful and significant" partner in providing the Philippines with a stable supply of rice.
The two also discussed plans to co-operate in the fields of science and technology, climate change, education and transportation.
"The two countries also agreed to soon negotiate and sign an extradition agreement and an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons," Minh added.
As both neighbours and ASEAN members, the Philippines and Viet Nam representatives spoke of accelerating co-operation to ensure the sustainable development and prosperity of the ASEAN community.
In regards to their discussion on the East Sea, Rosario said as coastal nations, the Philippines and Viet Nam shared common interests in pursuing the settlement of marine disputes on the basis of international laws, including arbitration.
He said the two sides discussed ways to deepen co-operation in security and national defence, and that they were satisfied with recent co-operation between naval forces, especially a marine self-defence programme that involves search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster rescue work.
Minh said the country looks forward to welcoming the Filipino defence minister's planned visit to Viet Nam in 2016. — VNS