Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa left Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 24, wrapping up a three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet.
Ho Chi Minh City vice chairman Nguyen Trung Tin (R) welcomes Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a Vietnam-Sri Lanka Business Forum in the city Oct. 24 (Photo: SGGP)
During the visit, President Rajapaksa held talks with President Triet, paid a courtesy visit to Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, and met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. He also laid a wreath to commemorate President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi.
At the talks, both two State leaders said they were delighted at the fruitful development in the bilateral relationship, according to a joint press communiqué issued the same day.
President Triet congratulated President Rajapaksa on Sri Lanka’s success in the fight against terrorism in the country. He also affirmed Vietnam’s support for Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and President Rajapakse’s efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous nation, said the communiqué.
President Triet agreed to consider the possibility of cooperating with Sri Lanka in mine and bomb clearance in northern Sri Lanka at the request of President Rajapaksa.
President Rajapaksa thanked the Vietnamese people for their support for his country’s fight against terrorism as well as Vietnam’s advocacy for Sri Lanka regarding the issue at the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council.
The Sri Lankan leader praised Vietnam’s economic development results during the renewal process and its external relations achievements, including the successful assumption of its role as a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council and the future undertaking of the ASEAN presidency in 2010.
President Triet applauded Sri Lanka’s contributions to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), the Group 15 (G-15) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
The two presidents discussed a wide range of mutual concern such as trade and investment encouragement and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, culture, aviation, national defence and combating trans-national crimes. They agreed to make greater efforts to elevate two-way trade value to 100 million USD by 2012.
The two leaders hailed the outcome of the 2nd meeting of the Vietnam-Sri Lanka joint committee organised in Sri Lanka last August, saying that this was an effective mechanism to boost their bilateral cooperation in various areas.
President Triet announced Vietnam’s decision to re-open its embassy in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. President Rajapaksa acclaimed the decision and expressed his belief that the Vietnamese representative office will further strengthen friendly and cooperative ties between the two nations.
Host and guest also touched upon a number of regional and international issues of common concern, and agreed to continue their cooperation for reciprocal benefit on the basis of not interfering each other’s internal affairs.
Following their talks, President Triet and President Rajapaksa witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperative documents, including an agreement on investment encouragement and protection, and an agreement on crime prevention and combating.
Other signed documents are a 2010-2011 cooperation plan on agricultural development, a plan on fisheries cooperation for the 2010-2013 period and a memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation.
As part of his trip, President Rajapaksa visited the southern largest hub of Ho Chi Minh City, where he was received by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan and attended a Vietnam-Sri Lanka Business Forum.