Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh receives Michaelle Jean, OIF Secretary-General in Hà Nội yesterday. — Photo VGP
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh stressed that Việt Nam backs the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF)’s efforts to enhance economic co-operation as well as work in traditional sectors.
At talks with Michaelle Jean, OIF Secretary-General in Hà Nội yesterday, the Deputy PM said such co-operation would strengthen the Francophone community.
Minh affirmed that the OIF is an important partner of Việt Nam, and suggested measures to lift Việt Nam-OIF ties, particularly in trade with African countries, supporting startups, promoting the teaching of French, and joining the UN peacekeeping mission.
He discussed with the guest priority activities for the Francophone community in the time ahead and preparations for Việt Nam’s delegation headed by President Trần Đại Quang to attend the 16th Francophone Summit in Madagascar this November.
Michaelle Jean said the OIF is willing to support Việt Nam’s economic integration and assist the country in encouraging startups and connecting with African businesses.
Taking note of contributions of the country to the Francophone community, she said Viet Nam is an important partner of many OIF members in Africa.
She praised Việt Nam’s mutually beneficial and sustainable approach when carrying out joint projects in Francophone countries.
She affirmed that the OIF will strengthen co-operation with Việt Nam in teaching French as well as back the participation of Việt Nam in UN peacekeeping mission.
Concerning the East Sea, she urged sides involved to settle disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
After their talks, Deputy PM Minh and the OIF Secretary General witnessed the signing of an agreement between the OIF and the Diplomatic Academy of Việt Nam, which aims to improve French competency of Vietnamese diplomats and public servants.
During the first ever visit of an OIF Secretary General to the Le Courrier du Vietnam - a French language weekly newspaper in Viet Nam yesterday, Michaelle Jean praised the newspaper for carrying “beautiful articles” with a professional layout.
During her visit, Jean held talks with Nguyễn Đức Lợi, General Director of the Vietnam News Agency, which publishes the French newspaper.
Lợi highlighted the important support given by OIF to Le Courrier du Việt Nam for many years, particularly in training its reporters. He called for the support to continue and increase.
Le Courrier du Vietnam is the country’s only French language newspaper.
The OIF Secretary General said that she appreciated many articles written in the newspaper that she read during her 12-hour flight from Paris to Hà Nội.
“I read many beautiful articles on different sectors. The layout is very professional,” she said.
Jean and Lợi discussed several challenges facing the newspaper, including the rising prominence of English, sharp falls in advertising revenue, and a decrease in the number of Francophone readers.
Later, Jean spoke with Vietnamese journalists and foreign editors working for the paper. She also gave an exclusive interview to the newspaper on the role of Việt Nam in the Francophone community and the policy of granting scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Francophone countries.
Earlier yesterday, Jean met with teachers and students of the University of Languages and International Studies in Hà Nội, and asked them to promote world peace and cultural diversity.
Việt Nam has played in important role in La Francophonie since its foundation in 1970.
OIF, which represents one of the biggest linguistic zones in the world, aims to embody the active solidarity between its 80 member states and governments (57 members and 23 observers).
Together, the community represents over one-third of the United Nations’ member states and accounts for a population of over 890 million people, including 220 million French speakers. -- VNS