Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh meets with Lao FM Saleumxay Kommasith in Manila on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo VỊnh Bình
MANILA — Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, and Laos in Manila on Saturday, on the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM 50).
Meeting Singaporean FM Vivian Balakrishnan, both officials agreed on measures to accelerate the implementation of high-level commitments to achieve joint benefits.
Vivian Balakrishnan stated that Singapore will work with Việt Nam for the successful APEC Year 2017, especially the APEC Economic Leaders Week in Đà Nẵng in November.
Meanwhile, Minh and Indonesia’s FM Retno Marsudi asserted the importance of maintaining contacts and high-ranking meetings to bring bilateral ties to a new height.
Minh suggested the two countries coordinate in protecting their fishermen, combating criminals at sea, while asking Indonesia for humane treatment of Vietnamese fishermen it arrested.
At the meeting with the Philippine FM, Alan Peter Cayetano, Minh affirmed that Việt Nam supports the Philippines as ASEAN Chair in 2017 in speeding up the ASEAN Community building process, reinforcing the bloc’s solidarity, and safeguarding the grouping’s central role in tackling regional issues.
He asked the Philippines to ensure safety for Vietnamese nationals being held by terrorists in the country, as well as hasten necessary procedures for the entry of Vietnamese vegetables, fruit and poultry products.
Alan Peter Cayetano pledged to work with relevant agencies in his country on facilitating Vietnamese farm product import and to ensure the safety of Vietnamese nationals.
At the meeting with Lao FM Saleumxay Kommasith, the officials vowed to work closely to implement agreements, including an agreement on resolving the status of undocumented migrants and marriages without licences in the two countries’ border areas.
With Australian FM Julie Bishop, the officials agreed to step up efforts to fully tap the potential to develop bilateral ties. Minh asked Australia to continue facilitating the presence of Vietnamese farm and aquatic products and supporting the country in education and training.
Minister Julie Bishop hailed Việt Nam’s participation in the Colombo programme, which is tailored to enhance people-to-people exchanges, and education and training cooperation, including the reception of Australian students in Việt Nam.
Regarding regional and international issues, Minh and his counterparts agreed on pushing efforts to build the ASEAN Community, and increasing coordination to maintain ASEAN’s unity and central role in the region.
The sides agreed to continue coordinating to maintain the bloc’s basis principles in addressing issues relating to peace and security in the region, including the East Sea issue on the basis of international law, the 1982 UNCLOS, to safeguard overflight and maritime freedom, security and safety in the East Sea, and seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). — VNS