|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn meets with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna. VNA/VNS Photo|
PARIS — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn has said Việt Nam always treasures its relationship with France, its important member in the European Union (EU) and strategic partner, with strong historical, cultural, and people-to-people ties.
Minister Sơn, who is on a visit to France from June 5-6, made the statement during his talks with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna on June 5.
It has been the first delegation exchange at the ministerial level in the past decade, taking place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Việt Nam-France diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.
Expressing their delight at the sound development of bilateral ties over the past years, they wished to work closely together to elevate ties to a new height.
The two ministers agreed to continue facilitating visits and contacts at all levels, especially between senior leaders. They also vowed to maintain cooperation mechanisms, including resuming the strategic security and defence dialogue at the deputy ministerial level between the two countries’ foreign and defence ministries, as well as holding political consultations at the department head level between the two foreign ministries.
They were pleased to note the recovery of two-way trade following the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching US$5.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 10 per cent compared to 2021, with still untapped potential. They promised to continue with the effective implementation of the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Sơn suggested the French government back and push forward the French parliament’s early approval of the Vietnam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and urge the European Commission (EC) to lift the yellow card warning against Vietnamese aquatic products.
The French minister expressed her appreciation for joint economic projects, especially the Nhổn-Hà Nội urban railway project, a symbol of Việt Nam-France economic cooperation.
The two sides also discussed how to boost cooperation in climate change response, renewable energy, science-technology, education and training, and pledged to jointly hold activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.
The Vietnamese guest suggested France continue offering support to the Vietnamese community living here, contributing to upholding their role as a bridge between the two countries.
On regional and global issues of shared concern, they vowed to work closely together and offer mutual support at multilateral organisations and forums, especially the United Nations (UN), and advancing the framework of the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.
Regarding the East Sea issue, they shared views on ensuring peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region, and settling disputes via peaceful means in line with international law and the UN Charter, and respecting the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On the occasion, Sơn invited Minister Colonna to pay an official visit to Việt Nam. The latter accepted the invitation with pleasure. — VNS