Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Foreign diplomatic delegations on Thursday paid tribute to the late Prime Minister Phan Văn Khải at HCM City’s Thống Nhất Hall, expressing deep condolences to the former PM’s family, the State, the Party and the Vietnamese people.
Representatives of the delegations expressed appreciation for the PM’s significant achievements in building and developing the country, creating the foundations for the country’s development of diplomatic relations with other countries, and raising the country’s position in the international arena.
The delegation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, led by Saysomphone Phomvihane, a member of the Politburo and president of the Lao PDR Central Committee, sent his deepest condolences to the PM’s family, Party, State and people.
“The comrade was a leader who contributed greatly to the building and defence of the Vietnamese fatherland, especially in the đổi mới (renewal) period. He also made great contributions to bilateral relations between Laos and Việt Nam,” he wrote in the funeral book.
Aleksei Popov, Russia’s consul general in HCM City, expressed his condolences, saying: “With a high level of leadership of the State, he strengthened co-operation between the two countries, bringing it to a strategic partner level. I was very fortunate to have direct contact with him and attend meetings and talks between him and the leaders of the Russian Federation.”
Kunio Umeda, ambassador of Japan to Việt Nam, said that Japanese Government leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, sent condolences to the family of the former PM as well as the leaders of Việt Nam.
“When I came to Việt Nam for work, the former PM had retired, so I had no chance to meet him face to face. But I learned a lot about the great contributions of the PM to laying the foundations for the friendship between Japan and Việt Nam,” the ambassador said.
Im Hen, Cambodian consul general in HCM City, also sent condolences to the PM’s family, the State and Party and Vietnamese people for the loss.
Leow Siu Lin, Singaporean consul general in HCM City, said: “While in office, former PM Phan Văn Khải had a close relationship with the leaders of Singapore, contributing to the building of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Việt Nam.”
“In particular, during a visit to Singapore in March 2004, the former PM and Singaporean leaders agreed on an initiative to link the two economies, creating foundations for co-operation between the two countries up to now.”
Current and former leaders of the Party and State as well people from all walks of life on Tuesday took part in a two-day ceremony to pay tribute to the late PM Phan Văn Khải at Thống Nhất Hall in HCM City.
A memorial service will be held at the hall at 7:30am on Friday before the burial ceremony which will take place at 11am in his hometown, Tân Thông Hội Commune in HCM City’s Củ Chi District.
On March 20 and 21, all State offices and public facilities flew the national flag at half-mast and some entertainment activities were suspended.
The former Prime Minister, who was a Politburo member, passed away at 1:30am on Saturday in Củ Chi District where he was born on December 25, 1933. He was 85.
As one of the highest-ranking Party and State leaders in the first phase of the country’s đổi mới (renewal) and nation-building cause, Khải was active in building institutions under the spirit of đổi mới and using the capacities of all economic sectors, especially the private sector, and opening the door to the world and integrating the country internationally.
During his two working terms, fundamental laws in the first phase of the đổi mới and open-door-opening process were enacted.
The Government chaired by PM Khải left its mark with the issuance of the Business Law, the annulment of hundreds of licences, and involvement in many tough talks to negotiate Việt Nam’s admission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Party and State presented PM Khải the Gold Star Order and the 55-year Party Membership Badge (2014) in recognition of his dedication to the country’s revolutionary cause.
Tribute-paying and memorial ceremonies took place at the International Convention Centre at Lê Hồng Phong Street in Ba Đình District in Hà Nội at the same time as those in HCM City. — VNS