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PM: Việt Nam advocates enhancing ties with Greece

Update: February, 14/2017 - 09:58
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (R) receives  Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nikolaos Kotzias in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the Vietnamese and Greek governments to boost ties in the marine-based economy, maritime navigation, shipbuilding, agriculture and tourism, adding that Việt Nam wishes to enhance ties with the European Union, including Greece.

During a reception in Hà Nội yesterday for visiting Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nikolaos Kotzias, Phúc said that given their 40-years of bilateral diplomatic ties, the two countries should facilitate visits at all levels, raising mutual understanding and collaboration between the two sides.

Việt Nam values Greece’s support for the development of Việt Nam-EU ties and the Greek legislature’s approval of the Việt Nam-EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, he said, asking Greece to back the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

He expressed his hope that Greece will support Việt Nam’s stance on the East Sea issue, including the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, the objection to the use of force or threat to use force and abidance by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Kotzias, for his part, said Greece has great potential for goods transit thanks to its geographical location as a gateway from Asia to Europe.

He affirmed that Greece backs Việt Nam’s strengthening of ties with the EU as well as Việt Nam-Greece ties in shipbuilding and culture. 

Counterparts’ talks

Earlier, during talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Phạm Bình Minh, the Greek high-ranking official said Greece wished to strengthen co-operation in all fields with Việt Nam.

Kotzias said Greece appreciates Việt Nam’s increasingly important role in the region and the world and the country’s achievements in national defence and socio-economic development.

Minh expressed his belief that Kotzias’ visit to Việt Nam will contribute to deepening co-operation between the two countries, and discussed how to further promote it, focusing on enhancing visits and conducting political consultation between the two foreign ministries.

They agreed to continue encouraging and making it easier for their business communities to foster partnerships and share experience, especially in terms of ship building and repair, maritime shipping services, seaport exploitation and logistics services, education-training, culture and heritage preservation.

The two sides agreed to accelerate negotiations on avoidance of double taxation, on maritime transport and on visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders.

Minh and Kotzias also compared notes on international and regional issues of common concern, and agreed to continue co-ordinating closely at international and regional forums, especially at the United Nations, the ASEAN-EU, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

As an ASEAN member, Việt Nam will help Greece expand co-operation with the grouping and its other member nations, Minh said, whilst Kotzias affirmed that Greece backs Việt Nam’s comprehensive relations with the European Union (EU). — VNS

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