Visits set new milestones in Vietnam’s ties with Australia, NZ

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left the New Zealand city of Auckland on March 20 (local time), wrapping up his official visits to Australia (March 17-18) and New Zealand (March 19-20) which marked new milestones in Vietnam’s relationship with the two countries and created fresh cooperation opportunities in various realms.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung (L) and his New Zealand counterpart John Key at the press conference following their talks (Photo: VNA)

In Sydney, the Vietnamese leader met with Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove and New South Wales Governor David Hurley, attended a bilateral business dialogue, received executives of some of Australian top companies, and talked to representatives of the Vietnamese community here.

He also delivered a speech and discussed with scholars and experts of the Lowy Institute for International Policy – one of the top 30 global think tanks.

During his speech, the PM touched upon the regional security issue which attracted great interest of participants. He underscored that imminent instabilities exist caused by complicated developments at several hot spots in the Asian-Pacific region, including the complex situation in the East Sea.

Peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the Eat Sea is the common interest of countries both inside and outside the region, he said, adding that current tensions and instabilities can only be resolved once all nations, especially sovereignty claimants in the East Sea, comply with international dictates including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), refrain from unilateral actions that complicate the situation, avoid threats and the use of force, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and promptly build a code of conduct for relevant parties (COC).

PM Nguyen Tan Dung highlighted that to sustainably maintain regional peace and stability, all countries, besides caring for their own benefits, need to pay attention to regional and global issues as well as legitimate interests of other nations.

He also reiterated the term “strategic trust”, which is a determinant of peace and stability.

In the capital city of Canberra, the Vietnamese leader and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott had talks during which they agreed to deepen the countries’ comprehensive partnership, closely coordinate at regional and international forums, and support each other in the negotiation and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements.

The two PMs shared the view on the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and peacefully settling sea disputes in compliance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982. They called on all parties to fully implement the DOC and refrain from actions that complicate the regional situation, including coercive measures or use of force to unilaterally alter the status quo in the East Sea. Both sides also underlined the urgency of building a COC.

On this occasion, Vietnam and Australia issued a joint statement, signed a declaration on strengthening their comprehensive strategic partnership along with four cooperation deals, namely a reciprocal work and holiday agreement, an agreement on implementing the Australia-Asia Programme to Combat Trafficking in Persons, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on war aftermath settlement cooperation, and another MoU on Vietnam’s joining of the UN peace-keeping mission.

Following the talks, PM Nguyen Tan Dung met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop and President of the Senate Stephen Parry, and received representatives of the Australia – Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group and leader of the Labour Party Bill Shorten.

Visiting New Zealand, he had talks with the country’s PM John Key; met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives David Carter, and leader of the New Zealand Labour Party Andrew Little; attended a dialogue with Vietnamese and New Zealand entrepreneurs; and visited the Auckland University of Technology.

At the meetings, the two countries’ leaders consented to intensify the two countries’ comprehensive partnership, ultimately building towards a future strategic partnership.

The PMs said their countries will enhance all-level delegation exchanges, diversify forms of contact, and more effectively utilise current cooperation mechanisms to successfully implement signed agreements and targets stipulated in the second phase of their action programme (2013-2016).

They were unanimous in expanding consultation, policy coordination, and mutual support to address global challenges and promote shared matters. They also committed to shortly concluding negotiations on free trade deals such as the TPP and RCEP agreements.

The Cabinet leaders also underlined the importance of maintaining regional peace and stability and called on concerned parties to resolve sea disputes without force and in line with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

The two sides issued a joint statement on enhancing the nations’ comprehensive partnership and signed an agreement on food safety and animal and plant quarantine as well as a protocol amending their air services agreement.-VNA

Source: Vietnamplus

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