Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Embassies and representative offices of Việt Nam in foreign countries have held ceremonies to pay tribute to former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải, who passed away on March 17 at the age of 85.
At a memorial service in the US on March 20, Vietnamese Ambassador Phạm Quang Vinh highlighted PM Khải’s contributions to the Việt Nam-US relationship through his visit to the US in June 2005.
This is the first visit to the US by a senior Vietnamese leader, he said, adding that it took place on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of bilateral ties and 20 years of Việt Nam’s Đổi mới (Renewal) cause.
During the trip, the former leader emphasised leaving the past behind and looking towards the future in Việt nam-US relations, and painted the picture of a Việt Nam on the path of renewal, and regional and international integration, Vinh said.
Delegations from foreign countries like Laos and Myanmar came to pay homage to the former leader.
On March 20-21, the Vietnamese mission to the UN also held a ceremony in New York to commemorate former PM Khải, with the presence of delegations of foreign countries in the UN, US friends and Vietnamese people.
Ambassador Georgi Pannytov, head of the Bulgarian mission to the UN, said that former PM Khải was an architect of Việt Nam’s international economic integration and a strategist of the national economy’s prosperity.
Representatives of Ethiopia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Djibouti missions to the UN also paid respects to the late leader.
A similar event was hosted by Việt Nam’s permanent mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (UN) and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 20.
Director General of the International Organisation for Migration William Lacy Swing and Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong, among others, paid their respects at a shrine which will continue receiving delegations until March 22.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland also held a memorial service for former PM Khải on March 20-21.
At a commemorative ceremony held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK on March 20, Vice Chairman of the Việt Nam-UK Network Warwick Morris, who was UK Ambassador to Việt Nam for 2000-03, said the former PM was very friendly.
Advocating economic reform and private economy, the former PM signed the bilateral trade agreement between Việt Nam and the US in 2001, and helped Việt Nam join the WTO in 2006, he said.
UK-Việt Nam trade ties have taken off during that period and advanced in the following years, he said, commenting on Việt Nam’s stable economic growth during former PM Khải’s term in office.
Former PM Khải was also remembered in Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Israel, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Czech Republic. — VNS