Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (left) shaking hands with Norwegian PM Erna Solberg after the press briefing yesterday in Oslo, Norway. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
OSLO — Việt Nam strives to develop the traditional friendship and multi-faceted co-operation with Norway, and important partner in Northern Europe, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday.
The leader made the statement during talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Oslo, held as part of his official visit to the country.
PM Erna Solberg expressed her belief that PM Phúc’s visit will help strengthen relations.
Host and guest both said they valued the recent developments in bilateral ties, nothing that the two sides have help a number of high-level meetings.
They agreed to step up delegation exchanges at all levels to create momentum for co-operation in various areas.
PM Phúc thanked the Norwegian government and people for their continuous provision of official development assistance (ODA) to Việt Nam over the years, helping the country to develop, fulfil the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and work towards international integration.
He called on Norway to maintain its development co-operation with Việt Nam and support the Southeast Asian nation in fields such as environment, education, economic management, administrative reform and bomb and mine clearance.
Progress has been made in other areas, especially forestry, fisheries, renewable energy, maritime transportation and shipbuilding, the two leaders said. However, bilateral trade has not yet reached its potential.
They agreed to push ahead with negotiations of the free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), for which Norway is the co-ordinator.
The two countries will encourage their businesses to expand operations in each market, particularly in solar energy, petroleum technology and the marine economy.
They will also promote the quality and consumption of their seafood, including Vietnamese tra fish and Norwegian salmon.
The leaders talked about partnering in education-training and cultural exchange, and agreed to assign ministries to foster collaboration in new spheres regarding women, peace and security, tourism and sports and people-to-people exchanges.
PM Erna Solberg lauded the role of the 20,000-strong Vietnamese community in Norway in developing the friendship between the two peoples.
PM Phúc suggested the Norwegian government create more favourable conditions for the community to work and integrate into the host society.
Prime Minister of Việt Nam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (fourth from right) and his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg (fourth from left) holding talks on May 24 in Oslo, Norway, as part of the Vietnamese leader's visit to the country from May 24-26. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
The leaders agreed Việt Nam and Norway should strengthen their co-ordination at multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations and within the framework of the ASEAN-Norway and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). This is especially important as both countries are running for non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, with Việt Nam seeking a spot for the 2020-21 term and Norway for the 2021-22 tenure.
Both PMs noted the countries’ mutual support at multilateral forums as well as their efforts to work with the international community towards global peace.
They restated their common commitment to sustainable and inclusive development in accordance with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, emphasising forest protection, responding to climate change and sea level rise and plastic waste management.
Regarding the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) issue, they exchanged views on the need to ensure peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and aviation in the area.
All disputes should be settled by peaceful measures in line with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other relevant regional documents, they said.
PM Erna Solberg congratulated Việt Nam on its economic achievements and praised its role in the region and the world, especially its hosting of recent major international events.
PM Phúc invited his Norwegian counterpart to visit Việt Nam again, and PM Erna Solberg accepted the invitation.
Meeting with the King
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also had a meeting with King Harald V of Norway as part of his ongoing official visit to the European country.
During the meeting, PM Phúc conveyed the regards of Party General Secretary and State President Nguyễn Phú Trọng.
While expressing his pleasure at visiting Norway, the Vietnamese leader spoke highly of the achievements in all areas made by the Norwegian people under the King's reign.
King Harald V welcomed PM Phúc’s visit and said he valued the results of talks between the two nations' Prime Ministers.
He said the Norwegian royal family supports developing the friendship and co-operation of the two countries.
PM Phúc stressed that the Vietnamese Government and people attach importance to the relationship with Norway.
He said the close friendship between the two peoples is the basis for deepening co-operation to the benefit of both sides. He also said he hopes for continued support from the government and royal family of Norway.
PM Phúc extended an invitation from Party General Secretary and State President Nguyễn Phú Trọng to King Harald V to return to Việt Nam. The King accepted the invitation with pleasure.— VNS