|Deputy Foreign Minister Đặng Hoàng Giang. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Foreign Minister Đặng Hoàng Giang spoke to the press about the meaning and targets of the upcoming official visit of President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to Cuba and his participation at the UN General Assembly session in the US.
Could you tell us about the purpose and meaning of the upcoming trip of President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to Cuba and his participation in a general debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session in the US?
At the invitation of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, President Phúc will pay an official visit to Cuba from September 18 to 20.
Later, from September 21 to 24, the President will attend a general debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session and hold a number of bilateral activities in the US.
The trip has an inclusive target of implementing Việt Nam’s external relations policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralisation of foreign relations.
That is also a trip that has multiple goals with many important meanings.
The official visit to Cuba by the President reflects Việt Nam’s policy of promoting relations with priority partners and traditional friends; and is an opportunity for Việt Nam to affirm its solidarity and strong support for Cuba in a challenging period.
The participation in the UN general debate and discussion with top leaders of the UN will be an opportunity for Việt Nam to send a strong message to international friends about its image of a dynamic and innovative, development-yearning, and peace-loving country with active and responsible contribution to the common work of the UN and the international community.
With the participation of more than 100 leaders of countries, the debate will also be a chance for Việt Nam to carry out bilateral meetings, helping to continue promoting the cooperation between Việt Nam and other countries deeply and effectively.
Bilateral activities in the US are expected to contribute to enhancing the cooperation between Việt Nam and the new US administration; and promoting the comprehensive partnership. During the trip, the President plans to meet US businesses to inform them of Việt Nam’s efforts in pandemic control and production recovery, thus helping to strengthen the trust and draw more investment capital from US investors and businesses and partners.
The trip is also aimed at implementing the vaccine diplomacy strategy, mobilising countries and international organisations to donate vaccines and medical equipment to help the country fight against COVID-19 and cooperate in post-pandemic recovery.
The trip is an opportunity to effectively implement the Party and people-to-people diplomacy, promoting the tight cooperation with the Cuban Communist Party, the Communist Parties of other countries and left-wing friends in the US.
It is aimed at effectively implementing tasks relating to Overseas Vietnamese and reflect appreciation for their contributions to the country’s fight against COVID-19.
How do you assess the relations between Việt Nam and Cuba? What is the meaning of the two countries’ mutual support on vaccines and food amid the pandemic?
Việt Nam and Cuba set up diplomatic ties in 1960. Over the past 60 years, the two countries have always offered each other sincere and pure sentiments.
This official visit to Cuba by President Phúc has a special meaning because this is the first visit to Cuba after Việt Nam successfully held the 13th National Party Congress and President Phúc is also the first foreign leader to visit Cuba after the Latin American country successfully organised its 8th National Party Congress.
The visit also demonstrates the solidarity and support of Việt Nam for Cuba when the two countries are facing difficulties in the context of the pandemic.
The mutual support for vaccines, medical supplies, food, and other items between the two countries is of great significance.
During the visit, Vietnamese and Cuban leaders will further close coordination and concretise important collaboration areas between the nations, and deepen their solidarity in the new period.
Could you give some details about the UN general debate? One of the focuses of this trip is medical and vaccine cooperation so could you talk about this as Việt Nam and other countries are coping with COVID-19?
The annual general debate of the UN is the biggest multilateral event on the planet which gathers many leaders of countries who will share viewpoints and show joint efforts to address global issues.
This year’s debate will also draw the participation of senior leaders of countries, international organisations, international financial institutions and non-governmental organisations to discuss measures to tackle current urgent issues, particularly COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
At the UN General Assembly, President Phúc will deliver a strong message to international friends of a dynamic and innovative Việt Nam that cherishes peace, holds development aspirations and responsibly contributes to the joint work of the UN and the international community.
This is also an opportunity to show Việt Nam’s appreciation for UN member nations for their trust and high confidence in Việt Nam as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 term and affirm the country’s commitments and efforts to achieving more positive results at the UN, UNSC, and UN mechanisms and organisations in the future.
Particularly, Việt Nam will clearly demonstrate its desire to work along with other countries to address current urgent issues, especially COVID-19 prevention and control. Therefore, apart from attending a high-level debate, President Phúc will meet with heads of a number of states and partners of Việt Nam in the US to discuss measures aimed at controlling the pandemic and outlining post-pandemic recovery plans and work to promote the support and transfer of COVID-19 vaccines.
The President will meet leading vaccine producers of the US, eyeing commitments for the delivery of a number of COVID-19 vaccines, treatment drugs, and medical supplies for Việt Nam. — VNS