Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with Belgian Chamber of Representatives President Andre Flahaut and Belgian Senate President Sabine Baronne De Bethune on January 18.
The Belgian parliamentary leaders described the Vietnamese delegation’s official visit as a vivid manifestation of the fine relations between Vietnam and Belgium.
Chamber of Representatives President Flahaut said the Vietnamese Party leader’s visit establishes a new historic landmark in bilateral relations.
Trong said Vietnam is keen to boost all-round cooperation with Belgium—an important role player in Europe and the world and one of Vietnam’s key EU partners.
Both sides expressed pleasure at the positive developments of relations across various fields and at all levels, affirming the importance of the legislative bodies’ relationship to bilateral ties.
They agreed to increase practical cooperation between the two parliaments by maintaining exchanges of high-level meetings, delegations, and parliamentary friendship groups. They committed to sharing legislative and supervisory experiences in the interests of strengthening bilateral relations during the lead up to 2013’s 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties. They also underlined the need to enhance economic, trade, and investment relations, and cooperate more closely at international forums.
Flahaut praised Vietnam’s renewal achievements and its burgeoning regional and international role, adding that his country attaches great importance to EU-ASEAN relations. He hopes that as coordinator of ASEAN-EU relations, Vietnam will promote effective, cooperative relations between the two regions.
Earlier, Trong visited Brussels City Hall and met with Brussels City Mayor Freddy Thielemans.
The Mayor briefed Trong on the Belgian capital’s development history and the process through which it became the administrative heart of the EU. He also spoke highly of the overseas Vietnamese community’s contributions to the capital city’s development.
The Party chief said he is very pleased to visit Brussels, a place he considers an international cultural capital. Vietnam hails its cooperation with Brussels on education and training, noting many of Brussels’ universities enjoy established relations with universities in Vietnam.
Vietnam wants Brussels’ support in improving the quality of its human resource training and fostering the best possible conditions for Belgian businesses to study and expand investment in the Vietnamese market, Trong said.
The Party leader suggested both sides should coordinate closely to successfully celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
During their visit, the Vietnamese delegation also met with the Belgian Defence Minister, as well as with representatives from the Belgian Labour Party.
Vietnam, Belgium hold high-level talks
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo has welcomed Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit as an important political event to bring Vietnam-Belgium relations to a new height.
During talks in Brussels on January 17, Elio Di Rupo spoke highly of Vietnam’s increasing role and its significant contributions to regional development and cooperation.
He also praised Vietnam’s tremendous achievements during the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, and confirmed that Vietnam is a priority nation in Belgium’s cooperation policy.
He expressed hope that as the coordinator of ASEAN-EU relations in 2013 Vietnam will help promote ties between Belgium and ASEAN, as well as between ASEAN and the EU.
For his part, Trong valued Belgium’s role in the international arena, especially in Europe, and assured his host that Vietnam considers Belgium an important partner supporting relations between Vietnam and the EU and other European nations.
Both host and guest briefed each other on the situation in their respective countries, and exchanged views on international issues of mutual concern.
They expressed elation at the fruitful development of the friendship and all-round cooperation between the two countries over the years, noting that the cooperation relationship has been strengthened at all levels and multilateral forums.
They agreed to increase Vietnam-Belgium cooperation in politics, economic, trade, investment, development cooperation, education-training, and science and technology.
The leaders underlined the need to foster links in the areas of infrastructure development, technology development, seaport construction, and human resource training for the information technology sector.
Party leader Trong invited Elio Di Rupo to visit Vietnam, and the invitation was accepted with pleasure.
After the talks, they witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation agreements between the two countries, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on supporting Vietnam’s climate change adaptation and another MoU on building Dinh Vu port in Haiphong city.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong arrived in Brussels on January 17 for an official visit to Belgium and the European Union.
He held talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to further elevate Vietnam-EU relations.
After Brussels, Trong will visit Italy and the United Kingdom during his European trip from January 17 to 24.
Talk discusses Paris Peace Accords
The Vietnamese Embassy in the US held a talk on January 18 marking the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords signing—the agreement that ended war and restored peace in Vietnam.
During the talk, delegates reviewed the negotiation process, its results, and the historical significance of the Paris Peace Accords (January 27, 1973). The signing of the accords represented a major milestone in Vietnam’s revolution and contributed to the southern liberation and national unification in April 1975.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Cuong reiterated the enduring value of the Accords and asked embassy staff and relevant agency representatives to apply the lessons learnt from their negotiation in the new context of Vietnamese-American cooperation, furthering national construction and defence.
Congratulations on Vietnam-China diplomatic ties anniversary
Top Vietnamese and Chinese leaders have exchanged messages of congratulation, marking 63 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung sent their message to Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, State President Hu Jintao, National People’s Congress chairman Wu Bangguo, and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan – head of Vietnam’s steering board for bilateral cooperation – and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also cabled congratulatory messages to State Councilor Dai Bingguo - head of China’s steering board for bilateral cooperation – and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Vietnamese ambassador to China Nguyen Van Tho, Chinese ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou, and the friendship associations of the two countries held various activities marking the event.
Meeting marks Vietnam-China diplomatic ties
The Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing has held a meeting on January 18 to mark the 63rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and China.
The event attracted the participation of around 400 delegates - delegates and officials of both countries - as well as representatives from organisations, international friends, and overseas Vietnamese in China.
Ambassador Nguyen Van Tho highlighted the cultural similarities Vietnam and China share and their mutual development of socialism under the Communist regime.
The two countries are currently entering the core phase of their respective open-door policies and opening up their markets for faster national development. Tho said Vietnam and China hold great potential for strengthening their time-honoured relationship and cooperation.
Vietnam always attaches importance to boosting relations with China, a country Vietnam views as one of its primary long-term strategic partners, he stated.
Despite global economic turmoil, Vietnam and China have enjoyed lucrative cooperation. Two-way trade turnover exceeded US$41 billion in 2012. China has been Vietnam’s largest trade partner for eight consecutive years, he noted.
The two countries have promoted high-level delegation visits building mutual trust and deepening the cooperative bilateral relationship.
Chinese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fu Ying praised recent advances in Vietnam-China relations, saying the two sides have reached consensus on many important issues.
China pursues a consistent policy of maintaining friendship and cooperation with Vietnam for mutual benefits, she said.
Ambassador Tho held a meeting with Chinese media workers earlier on the same day, introducing Vietnam’s current national development and Party building processes as well as the country’s foreign policy.
Indian Vice President ends Vietnam visit
Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and his wife left Hanoi on January 17, wrapping up a four-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan.
During the visit, Vice President Ansari held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Thi Doan, and met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
He also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and attended a ceremony reviewing the Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2012.
At the meetings, Vietnamese Party and State highlighted the Indian Vice President’s visit as a contribution to the constant development of the time-honoured friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries over the years. They thanked India for its valuable support for Vietnam, affirming that Vietnam always attaches importance to the strategic partnership with India as well as its role and positive contributions to peace and cooperation in the region and the world.
Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the success of the Vietnam-India Friendship Year 2012 and the fine traditional friendship and effective cooperation between the two nations over the past 40 years since their strategic partnership was established in 2007.
They showed their resolve to improve the strategic partnership in a more substantial and effective manner and agreed to further strengthen political relations.
During his stay, Ansari visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, laid wreaths at the Heroic Martyrs’ Memorial in Hanoi and visited a number of localities and cultural and historical relic sites.
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos increase transport cooperation
Transport Ministers of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate road transport cooperation.
The MoU, inked during ministers’ meeting in Laos’ southern Pakse Champasak province on January 16-17, will allow vehicles from the three countries to cross their borders.
It will facilitate the transportation of goods and passengers including via sea ports among the three countries, and boost socio-economic development in each country, especially the development triangle region.
Vietnam, Laos boost education cooperation
Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports signed a 2013 cooperation plan in Hanoi on January 18.
The plan aims to increase the quality and efficiency of bilateral cooperation in education and human resource development over the 2011–2020 period, and formalise a staff training cooperation protocol between the Vietnamese and Lao Governments.
Vietnam will welcome 433 Lao students and teachers to participate in training courses during 2013. Both sides will organise high-ranking delegation exchanges to share experience and assist each other.
At the ceremony, Lao Minister of Education and Sports Phankham Viphavanh awarded Lao Government insignia to some individuals and collectives of MOET.
MOET Minister Pham Vu Luan reiterated Vietnam’s determination to reinforce the special friendship with Laos.
Italy boosts cultural cooperation with Vietnam
Italy wants to increase cultural cooperation with Vietnam in the time to come, Cultural Minister Lozenro Ornaghi told his Vietnamese counterpart Hoang Tuan Anh in Rome on January 17.
During talks, both sides agreed to boost cooperation in organizing film festivals, cultural weeks, and other art performances.
They also agreed to increase delegation visits to share experience, notably in archeology and heritage preservation.
The two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, and Italy will do its utmost to make the Vietnam Year in Italy a success, said Minister Ornaghi.
He is committed to supporting the Vietnam Cultural Days in Italy, which is taking place in Rome from January 16-23, and the Vietnam Week in Venice due to be held in June 2013.
Minister Anh said he hopes the two countries will strengthen cooperative relations in all areas, including culture, to promote mutual understanding.
He invited Ornaghi and other Italian friends to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Italy House in Vietnam in Hanoi.
The house introduces Italy’s distinctive cultural identities, and helps bridge the two countries’ art circles, said Anh.
Both host and guest reviewed bilateral cooperation in archeology and cultural heritage preservation, as well as human resource training, and agreed to increase cooperation in this field.
Italy has undertaken a heritage restoration project at My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO-recognised heritage site, in the central province of Quang Nam.
The same day, an exhibition on Vietnamese publications and another exhibition on the Vietnamese Cultural Space were held in Rome as part of the Vietnam Cultural Days in Italy.