Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lê Hải Bình
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam welcomes Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision settling a dispute over 17 detained Vietnamese fishermen in line with the strategic partnership between the two countries, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lê Hải Bình said at a regular press conference in Hà Nội yesterday.
Asked about the Philippine decision, Bình said that after the 17 were arrested on September 8, the Foreign Ministry directed the Vietnamese embassy in Manila to work with authorities to ensure their legitimate interests.
Duterte, on a visit to Việt Nam in late September, told President Trần Đại Quang of the impending release. The Vietnamese embassy worked with the host authorities to make a list of the fishermen and arrange details of the release.
The fishermen were caught off Luzon Island and accused of poaching. The charges were dropped after they explained that they entered Philippine waters unintentionally when seeking protection from a typhoon, said Philippines Immigration Comissioner Jaime Morente on Wednesday.
The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry asked local authorities and the Border Guard High Command to stand ready to welcome the fishermen back, Bình said. — VNS