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|Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne co-chair the second Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministers' Meeting. (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi - The Australian Government continues to give high priority to Vietnam in its foreign policy, considering the Southeast Asian country one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region, and hopes to soon advance the bilateral relationship to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, said a senior diplomat.
The remarks were made by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne during the second Vietnam-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, co-chaired by herself and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on November 5.
During the online meeting, the two officials agreed to discuss suitable measures and mechanisms in order to resume flights between the two countries when possible.
They also consented to enhance bilateral cooperation and mutual support at regional and international mechanisms and forums such as the UN, ASEAN/EAS, and the Mekong Sub-region.
Minh appreciated Australia’s commitments to supporting and cooperating with Vietnam in all fields, including natural disaster response and the pandemic fight, while enhancing economic ties and development cooperation.
He also welcomed the country’s plan to establish the Australia-Vietnam centre in the Southeast Asian nation as well as its assistance in helping Vietnam to participate in UN peacekeeping operations.
Minh suggested the two foreign ministries maintain the pace of cooperation through all-level meetings and the implementation of cooperation mechanisms between the two countries and the ministries in particular.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides shared the same view on the significance of strengthening cooperation, maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and peacefully settling disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Payne congratulated Vietnam on its success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining socio-economic development, and conveyed the Australian Government’s sympathies over the losses caused by the prolonged floods in the central region.
Australia always stands side-by-side with Vietnam and is ready to assist the country in addressing the consequences of natural disasters and to step up cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, she stressed.
Payne agreed with Minh’s proposal to boost partnerships in major areas to recover the economies in the post-pandemic period, saying that Australia will provide technical support to Vietnam in agriculture and market access.
Australia will also encourage its businesses to increase investment in Vietnam in areas of mutual concern, such as telecommunications, infrastructure, agriculture, high-technology, finance-banking, and mining and energy, along with increasing its official development assistance (ODA) to the country, the minister said.
Congratulating Vietnam on its achievements in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020, Payne pledged that Australia will actively participate and closely coordinate with Vietnam to ensure the success of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN-Australia Summit, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides inked an action programme on implementing the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership for 2020-2023.
The foreign ministers’ meeting is a new mechanism established after the two countries elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership in March 2018 during a visit to Australia by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.