Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh holds phone talks with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday. VNA Photo
HANOI– Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab both believe that the relations between Vietnam and the UK will be expanded and enhanced in the time ahead.
During their phone talks on July 13 they rejoiced at the strong development of the bilateral strategic partnership over the past decade, and shared the view that the two countries still have huge potential for further cooperation.
Minh proposed the two countries increase exchanges and visits, while maintaining cooperation mechanisms, including the strategic dialogue at the deputy ministerial level.
He also called for more efforts towards the signing of the Việt Nam-UK free trade agreement.
The official lauded the British Government’s efforts and initiatives to promote international collaboration in the fight against COVID-19, and pledged that Việt Nam stands ready to join hands with the UK in these efforts.
Minh also suggested the two sides continue mutual support in citizen protection, saying Việt Nam facilitates the entry of foreign investors, experts, managers and labourers, including those from the UK.
For his part, Raab stressed that the UK considers Việt Nam an important partner in Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia in its foreign policy and wishes to deepen the strategic partnership across spheres and strengthen bilateral agreements to maintain the pace of bilateral ties, notably in economy and trade, when the UK leaves the European Union.
He congratulated Việt Nam on its success containing the COVID-19 pandemic, and thanked Vietnamese competent agencies and doctors for their dedication in treating the British pilot - Patient 91.
The minister told the Vietnamese official that the UK had listed Việt Nam among the countries from where travellers would be exempted from quarantine regulations.
He praised Việt Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship and non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC), and promised that the UK will further cooperate and coordinate with Việt Nam in multilateral frameworks, the UNSC and other multilateral forums.
Raab also affirmed the UK’s support in maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
The minister expressed his hope for stronger ASEAN-UK ties, and called on Việt Nam to back the cooperation.
In this regard, Minh said as the ASEAN Chair, Việt Nam would support external partners, including the UK, to step up cooperation with the grouping and applauds contributions to peace, cooperation and the observance of international law in the region and the world. - VNS