Vietnam, India strengthen strategic partnership

(VOVworld)- The Indian President Pranab Mukherjee began a 4-day state visit to Vietnam on Sunday at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang. After the welcoming ceremony in Hanoi on Monday, the two Presidents held talks on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern.

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President Truong Tan Sang holds talks with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee- Photo: Nguyen Khang/TTXVN

The two sides agreed to further strategic partnership with focus on cooperation in politics, national defence, security, economics, science and technology, oil and gas, and culture, people-to-people connection and regional and multi-lateral cooperation. They agreed to increase the exchanges of high-ranking delegations in the near future and organize a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee in Vietnam next year. They stressed that security cooperation will be a major pillar of their strategic partnership and expressed their satisfaction with the signing of an MOU on India’s 100 million USD credit for Vietnam for national defense purchases. The two sides aim to raise two-way trade to 7 billion USD by 2015 and 15 billion USD by 2020.

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The two leaders praised India’s Jet Airways and Vietnam Airlines for their plan to open a direct route between India and Vietnam this November. They agreed to expand cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, information technology, education and training. The two Presidents discussed issues of mutual concern and agreed to further bilateral cooperation at regional and global forums including ASEAN-India cooperation, the East Asia Summit, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, South-South Cooperation, and the UN. They reiterated their mutual support for candidacy as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term for Vietnam and 2021-2022 for India. The two leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea and settling regional disputes through peaceful means according to international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, abiding by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and soon completing the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Following the talks, President Truong Tan Sang and President Pranab Mukherjee witnessed the signing of an inter-governmental cooperative agreement on customs, a credit agreement between the Vietnamese government and India’s Eximbank, MoUs on the construction of a basa fish farm in India, veterinary cooperation, youth cooperation, and aviation cooperation between Vietnam Airlines and Jet Airways, and a tentative letter of cooperation between the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and India’s ONGC Videsh company.

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Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vietnamese Party leader Nguyen Phu TRong

During a meeting with President Mukherjee, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said the visit was an important milestone contributing to elevating Vietnamese – Indian traditional friendship and strategic partnership to a new level. The Party leader expressed his hope that the two countries will expand cooperation in all sectors and support each other at international forums. He asked India to support Vietnam’s stance on regional and international issues including the settlement of East Sea disputes by peaceful measures based on international law.  

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Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

The same day, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The PM said the Vietnamese Government wished to develop the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries further, in a deep and effective manner that benefitted both peoples.
He suggested the two sides continue to strengthen diplomatic ties, cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, particularly at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and East Asia Summit. PM Dung said the Vietnamese Government supported its cooperation with India on national security and military technology, and was keen to boost the relationship in science-technology, culture, education-training and people-to-people exchanges.

At a reception for the Indian President on the same day, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said he believed the Indian President’s visit to Vietnam would be successful creating an important milestone and opening new opportunities to strengthen the traditional friendship and strategic partnership. Chairman Hung said that enhancing cooperation between Vietnam and India would contribute to peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world meeting the two people’s aspirations. President Pranab Mukherjee and Chairman Hung agreed to step up cooperation and share the experiences of the two legislative bodies and with those in the region and the world. Chairman Hung also invited Indian legislators to attend the 132nd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to be held in Hanoi next year.