|State President Truong Tan Sang and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko review the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko held talks yesterday in Ha Noi, discussing ways to further lift economic and trade ties to new heights.
It is the first foreign trip by President Lukashenko since his re-election.
Expressing his appreciation for Viet Nam's role in the region and the world, the Belarusian President affirmed that Belarus considers Viet Nam a close friend, a strategic partner and one of the priorities in Asia in its external relations.
President Sang expressed his belief that under the leadership of the President, the Belarusian people will reap more successes in national construction and development.
The two Presidents pledged their determination to foster the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two peoples.
They agreed to continue facilitating the exchange of all-level visits to strengthen political trust, boosting links between the two legislative bodies and in the economic, trade and investment areas, while working closely together at international forums such as the United Nations (UN) and the Non-Aligned Movement for each country's interest and a world of peace, stability and prosperity.
Both sides promised to improve the efficiency of the Inter-governmental Committee mechanism, back import-export activities and extend collaboration in industry and farming.
The Vietnamese President proposed intensifying industrial cooperation, particularly in Belarus's strong industries such as chemicals, engineering, automobile assembly.
He also called for joint-ventures to process coffee, milk and farm produce, and Belarus's help in training agricultural experts.
Stressing the significance of the free trade agreement signed between Viet Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union in May, they vowed to effectively realise the deal by raising corporate awareness of its terms.
The two Presidents consented to expanding bilateral ties across science-technology, national defence, education, health care, culture, sport, tourism and labour.
In that spirit, the Belarusian President spoke highly of Viet Nam's unilateral visa exemption for Belarusian citizens from July 1, 2015 and agreed to simplify visa procedures for Vietnamese nationals.
He informed his host that Belarus will supply lorries and trucks to the Vietnamese market this year, adding that his country is ready to help Ha Noi and HCM City build subways while seeking partnerships in oil and gas, medicines, information technology and military techniques.
The Vietnamese President asked Belarus to continue providing support for the Vietnamese community in the country.
Turning to regional and global issues of shared concern, the leaders underscored the UN's central role in ensuring global peace, security and sustainable growth and expressed their support for efforts to improve the UN's operation efficiency.
The guest confirmed his backing of Viet Nam's stance on the settlement of territorial disputes, including the East Sea dispute by peaceful means without the use of force or threat to use force in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and working towards an early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Host and guest expressed their belief that the visit would create a new impetus to strengthen Viet Nam-Belarus ties in all aspects to meet the aspirations of the two peoples, for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
President Lukashenko invited President Sang to visit Belarus in the foreseeable future. The host accepted the invitation with pleasure and the timing of the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels.
Following the talks, host and guest signed a joint statement on strengthening and developing comprehensive ties between Viet Nam and Belarus.
They later witnessed the signing of several agreements on economic, scientific, educational and cultural cooperation for 2016-2018 and for 2016-2020.
President Sang and his Belarusian counterpart signed a joint statement pledging to strengthen the comprehensive development of the relations between the two countries.
Party leader greeting
|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko yesterday in Ha Noi.— Photo Tri Dung
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong yesterday received Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, welcoming the President's selection of Viet Nam as one of the first destinations to visit following his re-election.
The Party chief said the visit illustrates that the Belarusian President attaches importance to the two countries' relations, and thanked Belarus for their support to Viet Nam.
He asked the President and Belarusian government to execute the countries' agreements, especially those in economics and trade, and provide favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community there.
He also valued Belarus's achievements in foreign policy and social stability, economic development, and regional and international integration.
Viet Nam treasures its ties with friends, including Belarus, the Party leader said, stressing the resolve to bolster the relationship between the two countries.
For his part, President Alexander Lukashenko briefed the host about the outcomes of the talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang.
He emphasised that Belarus regards Viet Nam as an important Asian-Pacific partner, voicing his delight at the progress in bilateral ties.
The leader vowed to urge relevant Belarusian agencies to ratify the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union, of which his country is a member, as soon as possible.
Lukashenko took this occasion to wish Viet Nam a successful 12th National Party Congress.
Meeting with PM
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Lukashenko reached consensus on the list of top priorities for co-operation between Viet Nam and Belarus during their meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.
Accordingly, the list spans politics-diplomacy, economics-trade-investment-tourism, education-training, military technology, science-technology and research.
The leaders highly appreciated the signing of economic contracts worth US$350 million by the two countries' businesses during President Lukashenko's ongoing visit to Viet Nam.
Lauding the smooth implementation of co-operation projects in manufacturing and assembling trucks and buses, they said the projects' outcomes will help expand the affiliation in other realms.
Host and guest agreed to push for the early ratification and implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Viet Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union, in which Belarus is a member.
They consented to elevate the Viet Nam-Belarus Intergovernmental Committee to the ministerial level and convene the first meeting of the new-level committee in Minsk early next year in order to identify specific cooperation programmes and projects.
Prime Minister Dung pledged to back members of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Belarus, to expand their relations with ASEAN countries and access the market.
The Belarusian President shared his views on the stance of Viet Nam and other ASEAN member countries on ensuring and preserving peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, which is an important condition for cooperation and development in the region and the world as a whole.
PM Dung described President Lukashenko's visit to Viet Nam as a new landmark contributing to lifting bilateral relations to a new height.
Viet Nam is keen to join hands with Belarus to deepen the relationship in a pragmatic and effective fashion, for the interests and development of the two countries and peoples, he noted.
On this occasion, the President invited PM Dung to pay an official visit to Belarus.
NA Chairman meeting
Also yesterday, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and Belarusian President Lukashenko agreed to increase efforts toward the goal of $500 million in two-way trade during their meeting.
They stressed the need to upgrade the Inter-governmental Committee to support economic, trade, investment, education and tourism affiliations.
Belarus wants Viet Nam's help in increasing its ties with Southeast Asian countries, President Lukashenko said, adding that the country is committed to helping Vietnam expand partnerships with Eastern European nations.
He believed that on the back of successful renovation, Viet Nam will further grow and successfully hold the 12th National Party Congress.
The President called for close mutual support in building a legal foundation for bilateral co-operation and in overseeing the implementation of signed agreements.
The top Vietnamese legislator hailed the Belarusian legislature for its active involvement in the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union held in Ha Noi in March.
The host affirmed that the Vietnamese NA would do its best to foster solidarity and friendship between the two countries and legislatures in particular. — VNS