Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met with his counterparts from the Republic of Korea (RoK) Kang Kyung-hwa in Singapore yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Vịnh
SINGAPORE – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met with his counterparts from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia on the sidelines of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM-51) and related meetings in Singapore yesterday.
At the meeting with the RoK’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa, Minh expressed his hope that the two sides would continue to work closely together to implement important agreements reached during Korean President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to Việt Nam in March 2018.
He took this occasion to reiterate the invitation to the Korean leader to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 scheduled to take place in Việt Nam this September.
Minh applauded the agreements reached at recent meetings between leaders of the RoK and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as well as between leaders of the DPRK and the US.
Việt Nam was willing to co-ordinate and promote its role in accelerating dialogue, co-operation and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula in a bid to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region, he stressed.
Having noted that Việt Nam was the biggest partner of the RoK in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Kang highly evaluated Việt Nam’s role and hoped that Việt Nam would continue to support peace and denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.
Meeting Lao FM
Meeting with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Minh once again extended his sympathy to leaders of the Lao Party, State, Government and people over the great losses caused by the collapse of the Sepien-Senamnoi hydropower dam and hoped that local residents in affected areas would overcome the aftermath quickly.
Both ministers highly appraised the increasingly close and practical relationship between the two ministries of foreign affairs and agreed to prepare for and effectively carry out regular consultation mechanisms at the foreign minister and deputy minister levels.
The two ministers consented to increase the exchange of information and closely co-ordinate with each other at regional and international forums as well as within sub-regional mechanisms.
They agreed to work with other ASEAN members to deepen the ASEAN Community’s co-operation process, strengthen solidarity, and enhance the bloc’s centrality and common voice in strategic matters of the region, including the East Sea issue.
Meeting Indonesian FM
At the meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the two officials noted with pleasure that the Việt Nam-Indonesia strategic partnership was developing fruitfully.
They agreed to co-ordinate more closely to implement the important results reached during Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng’s visit to Indonesia in August 2017 and the 3rd meeting of the Việt Nam-Indonesia Bilateral Co-operation Committee in April 2018, and prepare for upcoming high-level visits.
The two ministers emphasised the need to boost economic and trade co-operation in an effort to elevate bilateral trade to US$10 billion in 2020.
Marsudi welcomed Minh’s proposals on practical measures to step up bilateral ties, including the signing of co-operation deals on trade, agriculture-fishery, security, defence and crime prevention.
They promised to co-ordinate closely at regional and international forums, reinforce ASEAN’s solidarity, maintain the bloc’s central role and common voice on regional issues, including the East Sea, and work together to prompt ASEAN and China to build an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
Marsudi thanked Việt Nam for supporting Indonesia’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2019-20 term and reiterated her country’s backing for Việt Nam’s bid to run for non-permanent membership of the UNSC in the 2020-21 tenure.
Meeting Malaysian FM
Meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Minh expected the two foreign ministries to co-ordinate more closely, especially in holding celebrations for the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Minh suggested Malaysia create favourable conditions for Vietnamese products such as rice and farm produce to enter the Malaysian market in addition to promoting cooperation in the field of oil and gas and receiving more Vietnamese guest workers.
Saifuddin expressed his wish for Malaysia and Việt Nam to boost co-operative ties in politics-diplomacy and economy-trade, and affirmed that Malaysia was ready to co-ordinate with Việt Nam in regional issues in order to ensure solidarity, unanimity and ASEAN’s centrality. — VNS