Prime Minister’s tour of Europe highly successful: Foreign Minister

December 16, 2022 - 16:18
The December 9-15 tour took place amid flourishing relations between Việt Nam and the three European countries: Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium


Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn. 

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính’s official visits to Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, and attendance in the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit were highly successful, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn told the media.

In an interview granted to the press as the Government leader concluded the trip, Minister Sơn said the December 9-15 tour took place amid flourishing relations between Việt Nam and the three European countries. This was the first visit to Luxembourg by a high-ranking leader of Việt Nam in 20 years and the first high-level delegation exchange with the Netherlands in three years.

During the visits of the Vietnamese PM, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium, which have set up comprehensive partnerships and strategic partnerships in climate change and sustainable agriculture with Việt Nam, have shown the importance they attach to the stature and role of the Southeast Asian nation, along with their determination to comprehensively step up cooperation.

PM Chính met with most senior leaders of the three countries’ governments, parliaments, and royal families, who highly valued Việt Nam’s socio-economic achievements and growing stature in the world.

They affirmed the wish to work with Việt Nam in promoting cooperative ties in an increasingly substantive and effective manner, sustainably developing the economies after the pandemic, effectively dealing with international issues, and responding to global challenges, according to the country's top diplomat.

He noted that in each of the three European countries, PM Chính chaired business forums and had meetings with leaders of regions and major enterprises. Up to 30 cooperation agreements were signed between ministries, sectors, research institutes, and businesses of Việt Nam and the three nations.

Việt Nam and the three European countries agreed to work closely and support each other at international forums and organisations such as the ASEAN-EU cooperation framework, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the United Nations, especially when Việt Nam, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium are members of the UN Human Rights Council, so as to contribute to regional and global peace, security, cooperation, and sustainable development.

Regarding the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) issue, leaders of the three European countries affirmed their support for the maintenance of security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region; the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and the negotiations on an equitable, substantive, and effective code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China, the official went on.

The three countries also pledged to assist Việt Nam in terms of finance, technology, human resources training, and regulation perfection to boost the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy transition, and sustainable development.

Sơn said PM Chính’s official visits to the three European countries reaped all-round success and were important milestones in mutual relations.

With regard to the commemorative summit marking the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-EU relations, he noted it was the first time ASEAN leaders had met with all the leaders of EU member nations, which demonstrated that both sides highly treasure and are strongly committed to fostering their partnership. It was also a good opportunity for the two sides’ leaders to identify important orientations for developing ASEAN-EU ties more strongly in the time to come.

An outstanding outcome was that the summit issued a joint statement which emphasised that ASEAN and the EU attach importance to each other’s role and standing; pledge to further solidify their strategic partnership on the basis of international law and equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation; and will bolster cooperation in economy, trade, supply chain stabilisation, maritime security, connectivity, healthcare capacity building, digital transformation, natural disaster management, environmental protection, climate change response, energy transition, and green and sustainable development, according to Minister Sơn.

They also agreed to enhance multilateral cooperation, share common values and interests, and promote international law, and resolve regional and global challenges.

They stressed the importance of the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means. They appealed for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and building of an effective and substantive COC that matches international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, he noted.

At the summit, the Vietnamese delegation led by PM Chính proactively and actively made important and responsible contributions to the event’s success, in terms of both summit preparations, discussions, and document drafting, the official added. — VNS