New Vietnam foreign minister talks with PH, Australia, Malaysia

<p>Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn<em> (Photo courtesy of VNS)</em></p>

Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn (Photo courtesy of VNS)

HANOI – Newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn on Wednesday held separate online conversations with Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, Malaysian foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr.

During the conversations, Sơn said Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are important and reliable partners that share strategic interests with Vietnam.

He expressed his satisfaction with positive development steps in Vietnam's Strategic Partnerships with Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines in recent years, with political trust enhanced and trade and investment maintained despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Australian, Malaysian and Philippine ministers congratulated Sơn on his appointment and Vietnam on its achievements in pandemic control and socio-economic development as well as its successes in external affairs when it was the Asean chair in 2020 and is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.

They agreed to closely coordinate to promote relations with Vietnam in all aspects, with the focus on promoting delegation exchanges speeding up high-level and all-level meetings in flexible forms, implementing bilateral cooperation mechanisms and agreements, strengthening and deepening security-defense collaboration, and continuing to support each other in agricultural - aquatic product exports, trade, investment, and official development cooperation.

Sơn thanked the Australian, Malaysian, and Philippine governments for creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens in the host countries, collaborating in joint efforts to respond to the pandemic, especially arranging repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens and cooperation for safe and effective access to vaccines.

He expressed his hope that Malaysia and the Philippines will continue providing humanitarian treatment to arrested Vietnamese fishermen and handle the cases with goodwill.

Payne agreed to maintain the implementation of the Action Programme to implement the Vietnam-Australia Strategic Partnership for 2020-2023, to soon complete a strategy for strengthening bilateral economic ties.

Hishammuddin agreed to work towards the early completion of the Action Programme to implement the Vietnam-Malaysia Strategic Partnership for 2021-2025 and organize the sixth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Malaysia when conditions permit.

Meanwhile, Locsin agreed to work with Vietnam in carrying out activities to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, holding the 10th meeting of the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation at the foreign ministerial level, as well as implementing the Action Programme to implement the Strategic Partnership between the two countries during 2019-2024.

They also agreed to keep working together at multilateral forums and on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Sơn took the occasion to invite the three ministers to visit Vietnam when conditions permit and at an appropriate time.
The ministers all accepted the invitations with pleasure. (VNS)