Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh late Tuesday talked on the phone with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio to discuss measures against the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Speaking highly of Việt Nam's success in the fight against the pandemic, Di Maio thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for providing valuable support to Italy in difficult times, saying that it is an act of friendship and solidarity between the two nations.
Minh, for his part, affirmed that Việt Nam will continue partnering with Italy and the international community in the fight against the pandemic.
He thanked Italy for creating favourable conditions for the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens during the pandemic, and wished that the two Governments would continue working closely together to support their citizens in the time ahead.
Both sides also highlighted the significance of the bilateral strategic partnership and agreed to facilitate all-level visits when the situation returns to normal.
They vowed to strengthen consultation and coordination mechanisms to effectively direct the bilateral cooperation in the new period, tap the potential of partnership in fields of economy, trade, science-technology, and culture-education.
Minh suggested that Italy continue backing ties between Việt Nam and the European Union (EU), particularly tapping the benefits brought about by the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement in the near future.
The two sides pledged to continue working closely together on international issues and step up links between ASEAN and Italy during 2020 when Việt Nam serves as Chair of the ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure.
Deputy PM Minh also invited Di Maio to pay an official visit to Việt Nam. The Italian diplomat accepted the invitation with pleasure. — VNS