BANGKOK, Jun 23, 2019, VNA. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had separate meetings with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on June 22, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
At the meeting with his Thai counterpart, PM Phuc once again congratulated Prayut Chan-o-cha on his election as the Prime Minister of Thailand.
The two PMs expressed their satisfaction over the sound development, closeness and increasing trust of the bilateral relations in the recent past, agreeing to jointly build an action programme to create a foundation for the practical, effective and comprehensive implementation of the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership in the new period.
They agreed to join hands to push the implementation of bilateral cooperation mechanisms in 2019, especially the fourth joint cabinet meeting in Vietnam.
The PMs affirmed their determination to further promote bilateral trade and economic ties to realise the goal of 20 billion USD in two-way trade in 2020 with more balanced trade between the two countries.
They also emphasised the importance of increasing connectivity between Vietnam and Thailand as well as with other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) through road and waterway connectivity projects to serve cooperation in trade, transportation, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges between the regional countries.
PM Phuc thanked Thailand for its warm welcome and expressed his belief that Thailand will successfully take over the role of ASEAN Chair in 2019 and make active contributions to building a strong, united, self-reliant and sustainable ASEAN Community.
While meeting with the Indonesian leader, PM Phuc congratulated Joko Widodo on his re-election as the President of Indonesia.
The two leaders reiterated their determination to implement effectively an action programme to realise the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership in 2018-2023 as well as agreements reached during the State visit to Vietnam by President Widodo in September 2018.
They agreed to increase the exchange of all-level delegations through all channels, while promoting people-to-people exchanges in a bid to reinforce the bilateral friendship, mutual understanding and trust.
The two leaders also affirmed the resolve to boost bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment to match with their potential and positions.
PM Phuc suggested the two nations make it easier for each other’s exports of goods and restrict the application of trade barriers.
The two leaders emphasised the significance of marine cooperation and agreed to join hands to implement effectively relevant contents in this field in the 2018-2023 action programme, including the promotion of negotiations and delimitation of exclusive economic zones between the two countries.
The Vietnamese PM asked Indonesia handle appropriately issues relating to Vietnamese fishermen and fishing boats in the spirit of friendship, humanity, and in line with international law and practices.
PM Phuc and President Joko Widodo also exchanged views on some regional and international issues of mutual concern. They agreed to strengthen coordination at multilateral forums, especially of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN), in 2020 when both countries are non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
On this occasion, at the request of Singapore, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc received his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
At the meeting, PM Phuc expressed dissatisfaction with Lee’s statement on May 31, 2019, relating to Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1979-1980 period.
PM Phuc affirmed that the history has proved that Lee’s assessment of Vietnam’s role at that time was incorrect and the repeat of preconceptions deeply hurt Vietnam and Cambodia, especially relatives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who sacrificed their lives to bring peace and help liberate the Cambodian people from the Pol Pot genocidal regime as well as assisting Cambodia during the later process of national construction full of difficulties and hardships.
Lee explained that Singapore did not aim to hurt Vietnam but just recalled a sad chapter in the history of Indochina to emphasise that today’s peace, stability and prosperity the region does not naturally have and the current context requires the ASEAN to maintain solidarity, closeness and stronger cooperation.
He also stressed that Singapore attaches great importance to friendly and trustworthy relations with Vietnam and highly evaluates Vietnam’s role in and important contributions to the maintenance of peace, security, stability and development in the region as well as in the process of building a strong, united and self-reliant ASEAN Community.
The two PMs held that the meeting helped the two sides better understand each other and agreed to look towards the future and focus on promoting the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership in all fields.
As Vietnam will take over the role of ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 period, the two sides agreed to increase the exchange of views, consultations and coordination in terms of stances in regional and international matters of mutual concern, especially maintaining solidarity, consensus and viewpoints of the ASEAN for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Phuc and the leaders of Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore agreed to continue enhancing marine cooperation and jointly promote the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon finalise a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), ensuring the interest of the international community.