|Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Phạm Thu Hằng during Thursday's press briefing in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday conveyed "deepest condolences" to the families and relatives of Chinese victims of the traffic incident in south-central Việt Nam earlier this week.
Spokesperson for the foreign ministry Phạm Thu Hằng said after the coach carrying 23 people (20 Chinese tourists, two tour guides, and one driver) overturned on Khánh Lê mountain pass in Khánh Hoà Province on Tuesday, four Chinese tourists were confirmed to have died and nine others were injured.
"The injured are currently being treated at Khánh Hoà Province's General Hospital and most injuries are non-life threatening," Hằng told the media.
Upon receiving the information of the incident, Hằng said Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính sent an official dispatch, ordering ministries and localities to mitigate the damage caused by the accident, direct the medical personnel, equipment, and supplies to the victims of the incident, facilitate the return of the victims' bodies to their families, conduct arrangements for the deceased and provide more support for families of those affected.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Việt Nam is actively working with authorities in Khánh Hoà and the Chinese diplomatic missions in Việt Nam to handle related issues and to assist with post-mortem arrangements for the deceased in accordance with the law.
Hằng told the press that the representatives of the Consulate General of China in HCM City are now present in Khánh Hoà and are working with the Khánh Hoà Department of Foreign Affairs as well as other authorities to handle the case and ensure the rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims," the spokesperson said.
According to the initial report presented to the National Committee for Traffic Safety delegation that visited Khánh Hoà Province on Wednesday, the driver of the coach, Hồ Ngọc Hưng, born in 1965, from HCM City, lost control while going downhill, causing the vehicle to overturn.
The driver tested negative for drugs and did not have alcohol in his system.
Based on the data extracted from the vehicle's monitoring system at the scene, the final recorded speed of the coach at 2:47pm was determined to be 45 km/h on a road with a speed limit of 50 km/h.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
On the latest Henley Passport Index report that ranked Việt Nam's passport as the 82nd most powerful in the world, Hằng said so far, Vietnamese passport holders can enter 55 destinations around the world without visas or enjoy simplified processes, such as electronic visas or visa at the border gate.
"In exchanges with partners, Việt Nam has been and will continue to request the simplification of visa processes or visa exemptions for Vietnamese citizens entering our partner countries in order to facilitate travel and trade between the Vietnamese citizens and these countries, which will help boost people-to-people exchanges and contribute to strengthening the friendship between Việt Nam and these countries," Hằng said.
Black Sea Grain Initiative
Asked for Việt Nam's reaction to Russia's pulling out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which would allow Ukraine to ship its grain through ports in the Black Sea, the Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesperson said Việt Nam is closely following the developments of the situation in Russia and Ukraine "with keen interest."
Việt Nam hopes the two countries will conduct dialogue and resolve the issue peacefully on the basis of respect for international law, particularly the respect for independent sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, Hằng noted.
"As an active and responsible member of the international community, Việt Nam stands ready to join the process of finding a solution to the conflict," the spokesperson said. — VNS