Vietnam strengthens bilateral ties with Philippines, Japan

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang offered words of congratulations Friday to the success of the sixth session of the Vietnam-Philippines Bilateral Co-operation Committee in Hanoi.

President Truong Tan Sang greets the Philippines' Foreign Affairs Minister Albert F. Del Rosario.

Upon receiving Philippine Foreign Minister Albert F Del Rosario, the President said Vietnam treasured its comprehensive ties with the Philippines.

The committee meeting held Friday was co-chaired by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his Philippine counterpart.

During the session, the two sides reviewed and evaluated the outcomes of agreements reached during the fifth session held in the Philippines in February 2008 and the Vietnam-Philippines Action Programme for the 2007-10 period.

They also defined orientations and measures to promote co-operation in specific areas, including the early signing of the Vietnam-Philippines Action Programme for the 2011-16 period with a view to continuing implementation of the "joint statement on bilateral co-operation framework in the first 25 years of the 21st century and the following period".

The two sides expressed delight with the positive development of friendship and comprehensive co-operation during 35 years of diplomatic ties and said they highly valued the encouraging growth in two-way trade in recent years, which had exceeded the US$2 billion target set at the fourth session.

Regarding security and defence co-operation, the two ministers agreed to continue the implementation of the defence co-operation agreement signed in October 2010, accelerate negotiations and early signing of an agreement to establish an information line, increase liaison between the two navies and establish a hotline between the Vietnam Maritime Police and the Philippines Coast Guard.

In talks about sea and ocean co-operation, they agreed that it was a pillar in their relations and said they were pleased with the positive results reached in recent years, including the seventh session of the joint working group on sea and ocean issues.

They agreed to work closely to ensure success of the first session of the joint committee on sea and oceans at the deputy foreign ministerial level which was held in the Philippines.

To ensure sea safety and security, they would strictly implement the co-operative agreement on coping with oil spills and another on search and rescue which were signed in October 2010.

The Philippines pledged to consider abolishing visa regulations or supervision of Vietnamese sailors as well as the lifting of different taxes on Vietnamese ships which transport export goods from the Philippines.

The two sides discussed international and regional issues of common concern and agreed to increase co-ordination at regional and international forums, especially within the ASEAN co-operative framework.

The two ministers expressed their pleasure at the fruitful results of the session and believed that agreements reached at the meeting would be carried out by the ministries and agencies of both countries, contributing to developing friendship and comprehensive co-operation in a deeper and more practical manner and meeting the aspirations of the two governments and peoples.

They signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of the session and agreed to convene the next meeting in the Philippines in 2013.

A preparatory session for the seventh session will be held in the Philippines in 2012.

Japan guess reception

On the same day, President Truong Tan Sang received Chairman of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance Takebe Tsutomu.

The President thanked Japan for continuing to offer official development assistance and expressed hope that trade relations with the country would be enhanced.

Tsutomu said Japan would do their best to boost bilateral ties.

Source: Vietnam News Daily

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