VN always attaches "special importance" to relations with Middle East, Africa
18:11 | 09/09/2019
VGP – Deputy  Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh affirmed Viet Nam has always attached “special importance” to the relations with Middle Eastern and African countries.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) welcomes participants to the first-ever conference themed "“Meet Ambassadors of the Middle East and Africa 2019” in Ha Noi on September 9. Photo: VGP

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Minh made stressed the point at the conference themed “Meet Ambassadors of the Middle East and Africa 2019”, held for the first time by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ha Noi on September 9-10.

Rooted in our shared aspiration for independence and freedom since the 1950s, our ties have been constantly strengthened, in keeping with the warm affection and the sincere and valuable support that Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries have reserved for one another during our righteous quests for national liberation, Minh said

In the course of national construction and development, Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries continue to join hands in overcoming common challenges.

The sides have made efforts to expand their multifaceted cooperation, contributing to the realization of each country’s development goals and the protection of the shared interests of developing countries in the international community.

Minh expressed his belief that the above endeavours laid the solid foundation for the loyal friendship and important partnership between Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries

Political and diplomatic ties between Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries have been constantly strengthened with greater depth while trade relations have witnessed positive developments, the Deputy PM, FM stated.

He added that cooperation in telecommunication, labor, education and healthcare has yielded new progress and cooperation model between Viet Nam and certain African countries, particularly in agriculture, is long considered a role model for the South – South cooperation.

At multilateral forums, Viet Nam always stands behind the Middle East and Africa in protecting the core values of peace and development, and promoting the fundamental principles of international law, such as respect for independence and sovereignty, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and refrain from the threat or use of force.

Minh took the occasion to sincerely thank the Governments of Middle Eastern and African countries for supporting Viet Nam’s candidacy to the non-permanent membership at the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure.

The conference draws the participation of heads of diplomatic missions, representatives of international organizations, including United Nations, World Bank, and European Union, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and business representatives from Viet Nam, the Middle East and Africa. Photo: VGP

Enormous and diverse potential for cooperation

There remain enormous and diverse potential and demand for cooperation between Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries, according to Deputy PM, FM Minh.

The Middle East and Africa are striving to overcome security and development challenges, persevering in the peaceful settlement of disputes, promoting cooperation and integration, and utilizing geopolitical and geoeconomic interests to thrive.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam is a member of the ASEAN Community and located in a dynamically growing Asia-Pacific. The Southeast Asian nation is working towards the 2030 vision of becoming a prosperous society and a thriving knowledge economy, and deepening our integration into the global economy.

As Viet Nam will assume the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship and a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for the tenure 2020-2021, Minh said Viet Nam can play a role in promoting cooperation areas of shared interest within the ASEAN frameworks and contribute to resolving major issues concerning regional and global peace and security, including those in the Middle East and Africa.

He asked the participants to the conference to focus on seeking measures to promote the traditional friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and Middle Eastern and African countries in all areas, and simultaneously explore novel avenues for substantive and effective cooperation in order to translate political trust and traditional friendship into concrete cooperation outcomes.

Minh called for strengthening connectivity by enhancing the role of the network of Middle Eastern and African Ambassadors and representative offices in promoting cooperation programmes and plans.

By now, Viet Nam has established diplomatic relations with 69 out of 70 countries and has trade ties with all countries in the region with the two-way trade volume increasing by 300% from 2008 to US$17.5 billion last year.

In terms of investment, Viet Nam has poured US$2.6 billion in the region while luring over US$7 billion from the Middle East and African countries./.

By Huong Giang

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