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PM gives instruction on socio-economic projects

Vietnam, India boost IT, foreign language training cooperation; Russian Ambassador bids farewell to State leader; Hanoi, Amsterdam expand cooperation; PM gives instruction on socio-economic projects; Nation thankful, Party chief tells ex-POWs

PM gives instruction on socio-economic projects

The Prime Minister has approved the allocation of 1,807 billion VND (86 million USD) from the 2014 State budget’s reserves for 43 provinces and central-run cities across the country to implement their urgent projects.

He assigned the Ministry of Finance to inform the localities on the list of beneficiary projects.

The Prime Minister also approved the investment scheme for an additional loan from the World Bank for the project on poverty reduction in northern mountainous provinces – phase 2.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment between July 2015 and June 2018 in six provinces, namely Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La and Hoa Binh, with a budget of 110 million USD, of which 100 million USD comes from the WB loan.

Vietnam, India boost IT, foreign language training cooperation

Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh worked with Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Preeti Saran in Khanh Hoa province on December 9 to discuss how to accelerate the formation of the Vietnam-India IT and foreign language centre.

The centre, located in the Telecommunications University in the central province of Khanh Hoa, is set up under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two governments in October 2014.

The centre is expected to develop high-quality human resources in the fields, meeting the demand on building the Vietnam People’s Army. Phase I of the project is expected to be operation in the first quarter of 2015.

At the working session, the host and guest appreciated the University’s efforts and preparation for the centre.

Vinh urged the school’s leader to coordinate with relevant agencies and the military attaché at the Indian Embassy in receiving equipment an technologies from India, and building curricula and textbook.-

Vietnam People’s Army founding day marked abroad

The Vietnamese Embassies in Singapore and South Africa have held ceremonies to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) (December 22, 1944).

Speaking at the December 10 event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Tran Hai Hau highlighted the important role of the VPA in sustaining the country’s peace, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The army has expanded bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation including regular defence dialogues at all levels with many countries, including all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Ambassador noted that the signing of a bilateral defence cooperation agreement between Vietnam and Singapore in 2009 has laid a foundation to enhance defence ties between the two countries. The two sides have held annual defence dialogues and consultations, military delegation exchanges, and cooperated in education-training, military medicine, military research, counterterrorism and searching-rescue activities.

At the same time, Vietnam and Singapore ’s Ministries of National Defence have been working together and with other ASEAN member states during the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), ADMM Plus, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (AFR).

Addressing a similar event in Pretoria on December 10, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Le Huy Hoang underlined Vietnam’s participation in the UN peacekeeping forces, which demonstrates the resolve of the Vietnamese Party, State and Army to contribute to the international common goals of peace, stability and social progress.

Vietnam and South Africa have strengthened defence ties via regular delegation exchanges, information sharing, the establishment of annual defence dialogue channels, and technical and medical collaboration, the diplomat said.

Brigadier General Thafeni confirmed that South Africa’s army wants to boost multi-faceted cooperation with the VPA, including training and defence technology transfer.

Similar events were held by the Vietnamese Embassies in the Czech Republic and Algeria to mark the anniversary with the attendance of the host countries’ senior military officers as well as diplomats and defence attaches of other countries.

Vietnam has established defence ties with nearly 70 countries across the world and opened defence attaché offices in 31 countries.

Russian Ambassador bids farewell to State leader

Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrei Kovtun paid a farewell visit to President Truong Tan Sang on December 10 before ending his tenure in Vietnam.

President Truong Tan Sang took the occasion to express pleasure at the growing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of politics, diplomacy, education-training and security-defence.

He noted that Russian investment in Vietnam has surged this year, adding that he hopes the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, when signed and come into force, will further increase bilateral trade between Vietnam and Russia as well as the two other countries.

On behalf of the Party and State of Vietnam, President Truong Tan Sang presented the Friendship Order to Ambassador Kovtun in recognition of his contributions to promoting the traditional friendship and the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia.

Ambassador Kovtun said leaders and people of Russia are looking forward to President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to Russia to attend celebrations of the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism next year.

India-Vietnam Solidarity Committee’s delegation welcomed

A delegation from the India-Vietnam Solidarity Committee in West Bengan state led by its President Geetesh Sharma is paying a working visit to Vietnam from December 4-14 to discuss measures to further mutual understanding between the two peoples.

On December 10, the delegation was received by Nguyen Hoanh Son, member of the Vietnam-India Friendship Association’s Standing Board, who spoke highly of the activities the Indian committee has conducted over the past time to promote mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation.

Son expressed hope that Geetesh Sharma, in his position as the committee’s head, will continue his efforts to deepen the two countries’ relations.

According to Sharma, the committee was established in January 1972 with 200 members, mainly journalists, writers and voluntary social activists.

Over the past four decades, it has actively organised a wide range of activities, including seminars and meetings, to foster the bilateral ties. It has also published several books on the Vietnamese land and people, particularly late President Ho Chi Minh, and the two countries’ relations.

During its stay in Vietnam, the delegation is scheduled to meet leaders of the Party, State and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as visit the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Hanoi, Amsterdam expand cooperation

Hanoi is willing to facilitate firms from the Netherlands to do business, especially in planning, water supply, waste treatment, climate change, and education-training, said the city’s senior official.

Chairwoman of the Hanoi’s People’s Committee Ngo Thi Doan Thanh made the statement during a meeting with an Amsterdam delegation led by Mayor Eberhard Van de Laan in Hanoi on December 9.

She spoke of the current Hanoi visit with a various activities such as workshops, meetings with students and workers in industrial zones where Dutch people work.

On his part, the Mayor said his city wishes to bolster ties with Hanoi with specific projects such as opening a Hanoi-Amsterdam air route, which helps shorten distance between the two capital cities.

The Amsterdam delegation is on a working visit to Hanoi from December 8-11. It is scheduled to meet with representatives from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines to discuss the launch of a Hanoi-Amsterdam direct air route in the coming time.

Conference underlines legislature’s role in human right promotion

Law makers, government officials and international delegates stressed the important role of the National Assembly (NA) in protecting and promoting human rights at a conference held in Hanoi on December 10.

The conference, which focused on the role of the National Assembly in upholding international conventions and national laws on human rights, was co-organised by the NA’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the UN Development Programme in Vietnam.

Since the country adopted its Doi Moi (renovation) policy in 1986, the NA has promulgated a multitude of laws to institutionalise the pragmatic perspectives of the Party and government on protecting human rights as well as the rights of citizens, said Ngo Duc Manh, vice chairman of the NA Foreign Affairs Committee.

In particular, the new Constitution of 2013 provides an important political foundation for reaffirming, upholding and protecting human rights.

At the same time, Vietnam has also joined almost all key international conventions on human rights, including the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

At the most recent session last month, the NA ratified the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The country has actively participated in bilateral and multilateral dialogue mechanisms on human rights.

Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam said the UN recognises the NA’s efforts to ensure human rights protection in Vietnam, as seen in the recent ratification of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

She affirmed that the UN will support Vietnam in facilitating knowledge sharing and provide technical advice on best practices from around the world as a way to support the NA’s legislative and oversight functions in strengthening human rights.

“The NA’s legislative role at all levels is fundamental in developing and passing new laws that advance human rights,” she said.

Participants at the conference also discussed the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) as a means to generating a holistic view of a nation’s progress in promoting, protecting and respecting human rights through dialogues on achievements and challenges faced.

Created in 2006 and introduced in Vietnam in 2009, the nation has seen two cycles of the UPR. In the second one, Vietnam has accepted 182 recommendations to be implemented before 2019, said Vu Anh Quang, director general of the International Organisations Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lao leaders pleased at Laos-Vietnam cooperation

Leaders of Laos’ Party and National Assembly have hailed the outcomes of the talks between the two chairmen of the two sub-committees of the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Committee, which just took place in the Lao capital Vientiane on December 9.

At a meeting on December 10 with the Chairman of the Vietnam-Lao Cooperation Sub-committee, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Lao Party General Secretary and President Choummaly Sayasone said he is delighted at the growing ties between the two parties and states. He stressed the need to maintain regular exchanges of high-ranking delegations as well as the sharing of experience and mutual support between the two parties, especially in preparation for the upcoming National Congress of each party.

The Lao President also lauded efforts of the cooperation sub-committees and ministries, localities and business circles of both sides in realising bilateral cooperation agreements and treaties.

He highly valued Vietnam’s commitments to increase ODA to Laos by 30 percent in 2015 and the fact that Vietnam continues to be one of the leading foreign investors in Laos.

Meanwhile, Chairwoman of Laos’ National Assembly Pany Zathotou suggested at her meeting with Deputy PM Phuc that the legislatures of both countries should further promote collaboration in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

She confirmed that she will attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that Vietnam will host in March next year.

She also pledged that the Lao NA will work closely with Vietnam ’s NA in monitoring joint projects, suggesting that Vietnam assist Laos in agricultural development.

Deputy PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always give top priority to further fostering the special and loyal ties with Laos.

He congratulated Laos on the successful organisation of the eighth Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos Development Triangle Summit in November and the 35 th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in September.

Also on December 12, Deputy PM Phuc also visited a number of senior Lao officials and held a working session with the Association of Vietnamese investors in Laos.

President hails contributions by outgoing Chilean Ambassador

President Truong Tan Sang has hailed the outgoing Chilean Ambassador Fernando Urrutia for the contributions he has made to the relationship between the two countries during his tenure.

At a farewell reception for the ambassador in Hanoi on December 10, the President highlighted the signing of bilateral free trade agreement – the first of its kind between Vietnam and a South American nation, during the time Fernando Urrutia served in Vietnam.

He noted that the agreement helped boost two-way trade to 540 million USD in the first 8 months of 2014, a year-on-year rise of 55 percent.

President Truong Tan Sang affirmed that Vietnam always wants to bolster its traditional relations with international friends, including Chile.

The Chilean Ambassador expressed his pleasure at the sound political, cultural and economic ties between the two countries. He vowed to continue to work to consolidate Vietnam-Chile relations in any new position.

Vietnam’s People Army hailed on Algeria’s press

Algeria’s newspapers have hailed achievements the Vietnam’s People Army’s (VPA) has made over the past 70 years of development under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

El Moudjahd and Le Soir D’Algerie highlighted the VPA’s victories against the French and US troops in 1954 and 1975, respectively, saying the victories gathered a number of factors, including the solidarity between the army and the people.

Over the past 70 years, the VPA has played an importance role in the political life and become the army of the people and for the people, the two papers said.

Le Soir D’Algerie stressed the VPA is a reliable political force and loyal combat troop of the Party, State and people, meeting requirements and task in the revolution’s new period.

Nation thankful, Party chief tells ex-POWs

More than 300 Party members who were imprisoned by the enemy during the American War were feted at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.

Addressing the meeting organised by the Party Central Committee Secretariat, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said the event was an opportunity for the Party and State to express profound gratitude to tens of thousands of revolutionary prisoners who made important contributions to the country's reunification.

Even in prison, the fighting spirit of the communists remained strong and inspired others, Trong, adding that the experiences and lessons gained in Party building and combat leadership from the revolutionary prisoners should be promoted and applied during peacetime.

He emphasised that Party strengthening and economic development continue to be core tasks for the country.

During the American War, the US-backed puppet regime established over 300 prisons across Viet Nam, detaining more than 700,000 political prisoners, including communists, revolutionary soldiers and other patriots.

On the same day, President Truong Tan Sang also met with a delegation from Regiment 95 that were sent to Laos after the Geneva Agreements were signed in 1954 to provide military training, build roads and train human resources.

At the meeting, war veterans said they hoped the State and Party would continue their social policies and help the regiment to find the bodies of missing martyrs.

The President has asked the Party's Central Committee Office, the Ministry of National Defence and relevant authorities to work together to address the veterans' requests, especially repatriating the bodies of Vietnamese war veterans.

Deputy PM receives new UAE ambassador

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) new Ambassador to Vietnam on December 9 formally initiated his diplomatic labours by presenting his credentials to Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Ambassador Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani was recently appointed to the position with the main objective of promoting trade and investment between Vietnam and the UAE and strengthening international ties.

The UEA diplomat said he would work to advance relations and increase cooperation in all areas.

Both Minh and Al-Qahtani spoke about future orientations in the petroleum, export labourand tourism industries and committed to bring the two-way trade turnover to US$6 billion in the coming years. Deputy PM Minh also requested the UAE to soon recognize Vietnam as a full market economy.

Minh thanked the UAE for helping Vietnam organize ‘Vietnam Day’ in the UAE on the occasion of Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming December 15-16 visit.

 

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