VN-Sweden enhance ties forged by late Swedish PM

Update: June, 02/2016 - 15:43
Sweden will continue to maintain a strong relationship with Việt Nam, which was forged nearly five decades ago.– Photo

HÀ NỘI – Sweden will continue to maintain a strong relationship with Việt Nam, which was forged nearly five decades ago.

This was confirmed by the visiting special representative of the Swedish Prime Minister, Pierre Schori, at a seminar here today.

The seminar Legacy of Olof Palme and Sweden-Việt Nam relation was co-held by the Swedish Embassy and the Hồ Chí Minh National Academy on Politics.

The seminar was a commemoration programme for late Prime Minister Olof Palme who was tragically assasinated 30 years ago.

Speaking at the seminar, Schori said: “Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with Việt Nam and will continue to maintain a strong relationship in the future.”

“Late Prime Minister Olof Palme laid a solid foundation for the unique and special relationship between our two countries,” he said.

At the seminiar, speakers remembered the great assistance and contribution of the late Swedish prime minister to Việt Nam.

Not only was he considered a great friend of the Vietnamese people in the fight for independence, but the late prime minnister also supported Việt Nam in the development of the country after the war, including the construction of the National Hospital of Paediatrics, the Uông Bí Hospital and the Bãi Bằng Paper Mill.

Prof. Dr Lê Thanh Hải (centre, left), Director of the National Hospital of Paediatrics and Mr Börje Ljunggren, former Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam unveiled a bust of Olof Palme at the Olof Palme building of the National Hospital of Paediatrics today. — Photo courtesy of Swedish Embassy in Hà Nội

Throughout his life, Olof Palme worked continuously and tirelessly for democracy, peace and human rights around the world.

In her speech, former vice president Nguyễn Thị Bình said: “Sweden is one of the countries of which I have many good memories and the movement to support Việt Nam was the strongest there.”

“Swedish support was provided by all -- from the highest leaders of the country to the elderly, the youth, the women and the children -- everybody was supportive of Việt Nam.

“He (PM Olof Palme) was joining the demonstration with me. As a person, he was probably the most humane and honest leader I have known”.

Meanwhile, former deputy minister Vũ Khoan recalled the assistance given by the Swedish government under the rule of PM Palme.

One of the most effective areas of contribution throughout the history of bilateral relations between the two countries is in the health sector.

The co-operation in this field has achieved very good results -- the construction of hospitals, training staff, maternal and child healthcare, as well as providing health services to the most disadvantaged areas to support health policies and fighting pandemic.

The placing of a bust of Olof Palme and the opening of the Kid Playing Room at the National Hospital of Paediatrics also took place in addition to the seminar.

The bust and furnishing of the room were funded by the Olof Palme International Centre, the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, the Swedish Committee for Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia and the Social Democratic Party of Sweden.

At the seminar, speakers also reviewed the contribution of the Swedish government’s assistance to Việt Nam’s economic development and co-operation over the last 47 years.

Olof Palme was Swedish prime minister for two terms -- from 1969 to 1976 and from 1982 until his assassination in 1986. — VNS