Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 49) in Laos. VNA/VNS Photo
VIENTIANE – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh held meetings yesterday with his counterparts on the sidelines of the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 49) in Laos.
At a meeting with Thailand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai, the diplomats gave positive evaluations to the progress in the two countries’ strategic partnership and agreed to convene a joint committee meeting at the end of 2016 to discuss concrete measures to improve cooperation efficiency.
Deputy PM Minh mentioned the July 7 and 9 shootings at Vietnamese fishing boats in Thailand’s waters, asking Thailand to coordinate with Việt Nam in investigating the cases in line with their respective laws and the laws of the international community, in order to prevent such cases in the future.
The Thai FM affirmed his country work with Việt Nam on the issue.
The Deputy PM also met with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary, Perfecto Yasay, during which the two sides agreed to promote the comprehensive and win-win cooperation between Việt Nam and the Philippines within the framework of their strategic partnership.
They agreed to continue supporting each other since Việt Nam will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Philippines will become Chair of ASEAN in 2017. They pledged to strengthen co-ordination within the ASEAN mechanism and regional and international forums, to promote peace and development.
Earlier yesterday, Deputy PM Minh met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (RoK), Yun Byung-se, after attending the 6th Mekong-Republic of Korea (RoK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
The two ministers expressed their satisfaction at the development of their countries’ strategic cooperative partnership and agreed to work together closely to propel bilateral collaboration forward, including the effective implementation of the cooperation discussed by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the recent Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Mongolia.
Deputy PM Minh suggested both nations enact measures to forge economic links and proposed that the RoK support Việt Nam in implementing the Việt Nam-RoK Free Trade Agreement effectively, and encourage Korean enterprises to make long-term investments and develop support industries in Việt Nam .
He asked the RoK to help Việt Nam gain access to preferential loans by the International Development Association (IDA) after 2018.
The two sides agreed to enhance coordination at the ASEAN-RoK cooperation mechanism, the East Asia Summit, and at regional and international forums.
At a meeting between Deputy PM Minh and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, the two sides expressed their delight at the remarkable strides in various fields in the two countries’ partnership, and agreed to maximise efforts to bring relations to a new height.
Deputy PM Minh proposed that Australia continue facilitating the imports of Vietnamese farm produce and seafood. The Australian side agreed to speed up risk management procedures so that Vietnamese dragon fruit could be sold there.
Julie Bishop said Australia hopes to assist Việt Nam with human resources development. She stressed that Việt Nam is the priority of Australia in educational partnerships in the region.
She asserted that Australia supports Việt Nam in spending financial resources to push economic restructuring and sustainable development forward. She will persuade Australia’s relevant agencies to support Việt Nam at the World Bank’s sessions on cooperation and development.
Meeting focuses on infrastructure
The 9th Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting took place in Vientiane, Laos yesterday on the AMM-49 sidelines, which focused on developing sustainable infrastructure to serve social-economic development in harmony with environmental protection in the Mekong sub-region.
Ministers agreed on boosting cooperation with member partners of the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) regional organisations, to promote sustainable development and narrow the development gap between regional countries.
Besides six priority sectors of health, education, agriculture and food security, regional connection, environment and water resources, and energy, the ministers agreed that the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) will focus on the fields Mekong countries need to address such as climate change, water resources, energy, food security, gender equality and female empowerment – to achieve balanced and sustainable development in the region.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM Minh put forward fields of cooperation the LMI will need to promote. Those include supporting Mekong countries to apply a water, energy and food inter-sector approach in building and implement socio-economic development policies; ensuring balance between development and environmental and natural resources protection; boosting cooperation on climate change adaptation; and sustainably manage and use water resources, including Mekong water.
The ninth meeting, under the chair of US Secretary of State John Kerry, saw the participation of foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Việt Nam and ASEAN Secretary General Lê Lương Minh. — VNS