Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh. attends an ASEAN-EU ministerial teleconference in Hà Nội on Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh
HÀ NỘI – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh, in his capacity as ASEAN 2020 Chair, has affirmed that Việt Nam would continue working closely with ASEAN member states, partners, the World Health Organisation and the international community in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
During an ASEAN-EU ministerial teleconference to discuss coping with the epidemic on Friday, Minh informed participants of ASEAN’s active and timely response to the outbreak in the spirit of “Cohesive and Responsive” - the theme for the ASEAN Year 2020.
ASEAN had shown the highest determination to combat the epidemic by issuing the ASEAN Chair’s Statement, and statements from ministers in charge of national defence, the economy and tourism on measures to jointly fight COVID-19.
Việt Nam had also chaired a meeting of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Council to oversee the bloc's efforts, he said, adding that active efforts made by the ASEAN Community had brought about positive results with low rate of deaths compared to other regions in the world.
In the near future, ASEAN would continue stepping up actions and cooperating with partners in this regard, he said.
Minh suggested the EU offer technical assistance and partner in scientific research on disease control and treatment, thus mitigating its socio-economic impacts.
ASEAN and EU agreed to enhance the sharing of information and experience and policy consultation, especially in diagnosis, treatment and vaccine production.
Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel proposed that ASEAN countries made it easier for EU citizens travelling in Southeast Asia to return home.
ASEAN member countries also asked the EU to provide treatment for their infected citizens living and working in Europe. — VNS