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Vietnam, Philippines pledge multi-faceted cooperation

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam’s President Vo Van Thuong and visiting Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. agreed to strengthen multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries during their talks in Hanoi today morning, January 30.

Their talks followed a state-level welcome ceremony in honor of the Philippine leader, marked by a 21-cannon salute, reported the local media.

Thuong stressed the significance of the Philippine President’s first-ever state visit to Vietnam, saying it will contribute to creating new momentum for the bilateral strategic partnership.

Marcos Jr. lauded Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in socio-economic development and external affairs over the years, saying that Vietnam remains the only strategic partner of the Philippines in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He called for more effective and substantive cooperation between the two countries.

The two countries upgraded their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership in 2015, and since then, the political and diplomatic ties have been consolidated through all-level contacts and delegation exchanges, and bilateral cooperation mechanisms, the two sides said.

Two-way trade has been steadily growing over the past years, they said, adding that the Philippines remains Vietnam’s biggest rice importer.

Marcos Jr. thanked Vietnam for ensuring stable and long-term rice supply to the Philippines, especially the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on rice trade as part of his Vietnam visit.

Thuong suggested the Philippines continue its humanitarian treatment towards Vietnamese fishermen, and soon extend the hotline agreement between the two agriculture ministries to quickly exchange information on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, helping Vietnam soon have the European Commission’s “yellow card” warning on its seafood lifted.

The Philippine President affirmed his support for Vietnam to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2027.

For the East Sea issue, they committed to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, and called on parties to exercise self-restraint, not use force or threaten to use force, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, and address disputes by peaceful measures in line with the basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The guest invited Thuong to pay a state visit to the Philippines at an appropriate time. The Vietnamese leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.

After the talks, the two countries issued a joint statement and attended a ceremony to exchange cooperation documents in agriculture, rice trade, maritime affairs and culture.

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