|NA Permanent Vice Chairman Trần Thanh Mẫn meets with Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thu Hà
MADRID — Trần Thanh Mẫn, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly, held separate discussions with Vice President of the Senate Cristina Narbona and First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Alfonso Rodriguez in Madrid on Thursday.
Mẫn is currently on a visit to Spain, where he offered his congratulations on the country's holding of the rotating European Council Presidency in the second half of 2023. He also urged Spain to further elevate ASEAN-EU cooperation to a priority in the EU's agenda.
During the talks, Mẫn expressed his gratitude to Spain for its early ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
During its European Council Presidency, he called on Spain to assist in the ratification of the EVIPA by the parliaments of other EU members, thereby creating momentum for bilateral investment on the basis of equality and mutual benefits.
Additionally, Mẫn proposed that Spain continue to support Việt Nam's candidacy for membership in appropriate UN mechanisms and to maintain close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, notably the UN, the ASEAN-EU framework, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Appealing for Spain’s support for the European Commission’s removal of its 'yellow card' warning against Việt Nam’s seafood exports to bring about benefits to both sides, Mẫn affirmed that Việt Nam has been exerting efforts to fully and seriously implement the EU’s recommendations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to develop the fishery sector sustainably.
The NA Vice Chairman also expressed his hope that Spain will keep raising a strong voice advocating ASEAN and Việt Nam's stances and viewpoints, including those on ensuring security and safety of navigation and overflight in the region; peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and supporting negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
He suggested Spain continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and integrate into Spanish society to help strengthen the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.
In terms of relations between the Vietnamese and Spanish parliaments, both sides voiced their delight at the flourishing cooperation as seen in the maintained coordination and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Asia - Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), along with delegation exchanges, especially at high levels.
Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, Vice President of the Senate Narbona said both the Senate and the Congress of Deputies of Spain have some parliamentary friendship groups, so the two countries can establish similar groups to boost exchanges.
She noted that Spain opened a trade office in Việt Nam in 2022 to facilitate Spanish businesses’ operations and contribute to bilateral economic ties, adding that Spain is ready to participate in expressway construction, energy, electricity, and water treatment projects in Việt Nam.
Regarding Việt Nam’s proposals, she promised to deliver them to the Senate and related ministries and agencies for consideration to help further enhance all-around relations.
For his part, Vice President of the Congress of Deputies Rodriguez suggested the two sides promote high-level mutual visits, saying amid the volatile global situation, both Việt Nam and Spain hold many advantages to jointly tap into, including Việt Nam’s important geographical location in the Asia-Pacific region.
During its EU Council Presidency, Spain will focus on four priorities, namely cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation in guaranteeing maritime security, the connectivity of economies, and natural disaster response, Rodriguez said.
Also on March 16, Mẫn had a working session with Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon, during which he said Việt Nam always treasures and wants to strengthen relations with Spain. — VNS