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Vietnamese, Laos defence ministries foster all-round cooperation




Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Tân Cương and Lieutenant General Khamliang Outhakai Sone review the honour guards of the Việt Nam People’s Army. VNA/ Photo Trọng Đức

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese and Lao defence ministries will work to comprehensively implement their cooperation plan in 2022, as agreed by their deputy ministers on Thursday.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Tân Cương, Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Việt Nam People’s Army, and Lieutenant General Khamliang Outhakaysone, Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Lao People’s Army, reached the consensus during their talks in Hà Nội as part of the Lao officer’s visit to Việt Nam from June 1 to 4.

Cương stressed that Outhakaysone’s visit, which takes place in the Việt Nam-Laos, Laos-Việt Nam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2022, will be a driving force for cooperation between the two armies, contributing to consolidating and enhancing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive collaboration between the two countries, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.

For his part, Outhakaysone said Laos always highly values the time-honoured friendship and comprehensive cooperation and expressed his belief that it will help to fight challenges and plots that aim to undermine the bilateral relationship.

They shared the view that defence cooperation remains a pillar in the Việt Nam-Laos relationship, with regular meetings and visits, and the effective implementation of collaboration mechanisms.

The two sides spoke of the first Việt Nam-Laos Border Defence Friendship Exchange last December, along with partnerships between military zones and border guards.

Joint efforts have been made in the combat against cross-border crimes, contributing to building a shared borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, they said.

Mutual support of medical equipment in the COVID-19 fight has demonstrated the solidarity between the two armies.

Regarding cooperation orientations, the two sides agreed to step up information sharing between their border guards, conduct more joint patrols and continue to coordinate in the fight against crimes and illegal migration and ensure security and safety in border areas.

They will also pay more attention to cooperation in personnel training and the information work.

Cương invited Lao officers to attend the first international defence exhibition in Việt Nam, the ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting and the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet in the time ahead.

Following the talks, Outhakaysone paid a courtesy visit to Defence Minister General Phan Văn Giang, who said the bilateral defence cooperation has been deepened across spheres.

The Vietnamese defence ministry hopes for stronger multi-faceted cooperation between the two sides, the General noted.  

The special relationship between Việt Nam and Laos has always been respected, preserved and strengthened by senior leaders of the two countries, Giang said. The Party, State, Government, Army and people of Việt Nam always remember the support and assistance of the Government, Army and people of Laos in the previous fights for independence and reunification.

On the basis of the protocol for the 2022-24 period and the annual cooperation plan, Giang said their bilateral defence cooperation has become more in-depth, practical and effective in all fields, including Party work, political work, training and coaching personnel, and mutual assistance.

The General expressed his hope that the two countries will step up the training of their armies’ officers and soldiers about the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.

Outhakaysone told his host that the General Staff of the Lao People’s Army has made efforts to contribute to preserving and promoting the special relations between the two countries and armies.



Vietnam looks to become one of Asia’s food innovation hubs



Vietnam aspires to become one of the food innovation hubs of Asia by contributing to expediting the transformation of global food systems, said Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), at the UN Security Council (UNSC) open debate on Thursday.

During the open debate, which focused on famine and conflict-induced global food security, Giang emphasized that recent reports and discussions at the 43rd session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference in Italy in July highlighted a growing challenge in food security worldwide, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Despite the recovery observed in various sectors after the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, food insecurity remains a headache in numerous parts of the world, particularly in regions affected by conflicts.

According to Giang, the most effective approach for preventing famine in conflict-affected regions is curbing violence and promoting peace. 

The UNSC should play a more influential role in addressing the root causes of conflicts to mitigate the risks of food insecurity stemming from these conflicts.

The Vietnamese representative urged all parties involved in conflicts to respect the UN Charter and international law.

In addition, Giang suggested that the UNSC should work closely with specialized agencies like FAO, the UN World Food Program, and other international partners. 

Additionally, enhancing cooperation with regional organizations can strengthen food systems’ resilience and ensure the sustainability of global food supply chains.

The Vietnamese diplomat emphasized that food security is not just a goal but a crucial solution for Vietnam’s socio-economic development. 

Vietnam places high importance on the advancement of low-emission and climate-resilient agriculture, aiming to establish itself as a food innovation hub in the region.

Moreover, the country is dedicated to making a positive contribution to global food security by ensuring steady export of rice and other agricultural products and is ready to collaborate with the international community in tackling food insecurity resulting from conflicts.

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Vietnam condemns desecration of Vietnamese flag in Philippines: spokesperson



Vietnam condemns the desecration of its national flag in a protest in front of the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines on Tuesday, Pham Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a press conference in Hanoi on Thursday.

The red flag with a yellow star in the center is the national flag of Vietnam, Hang affirmed.

The act of tearing the national flag of Vietnam is an insult to the Vietnamese people and must be strongly condemned, Hang said while answering questions about Vietnam’s response to the protest in front of the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines where a group of Filipinos tore the Vietnamese flag.

Vietnam demanded the Philippines strictly deal with the case and take effective measures to prevent similar acts which could affect the thriving strategic partnership between the two countries, the spokesperson added. 

Vietnam and the Philippines are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

The two countries established their diplomatic ties in July 1976 and upgraded the relationship to a strategic partnership in 2015.

Their bilateral relations have developed strongly over the past time with two-way trade reaching nearly US$8 billion last year, the highest-ever.

During a visit to Vietnam by Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Enrique Manalo on Tuesday and Wednesday, he and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed to bolster the cooperation in national defense and security, especially at sea.

The Vietnamese government leader called for the early establishment of more legal frameworks for the two sides’ cooperation in security.

He also suggested the two sides strengthen the collaboration in trade to reach bilateral trade of $10 billion, and weigh removing unnecessary barriers to support each other in ensuring food security.

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Vietnamese state president concludes Europe visit with positive outcomes



Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong and his spouse returned to Hanoi on Saturday morning, wrapping up his six-day visits to Austria, Italy, and the Vatican from July 23 to 28 with around 50 activities conducted with positive outcomes.

The visits were made at the invitations of Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and Pope Francis.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son told the press that the visits reaped successful results, adding that they would help promote the relations between Vietnam and Austria, Italy, and the Vatican.

During the visits, President Thuong and his entourage carried out some 50 activities in various fields.

Both Austrian and Italian leaders affirmed that they regarded Vietnam as a leading important partner in ASEAN and hoped that Vietnam would serve as a bridge between ASEAN and the EU, Minister Son said.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son speaks to the press about the outcomes of State President Vo Van Thuong’s visits to Austria, Italy, and the Vatican from July 23 to 28, 2023. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son speaks to the press about the outcomes of State President Vo Van Thuong’s visits to Austria, Italy, and the Vatican from July 23 to 28, 2023. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Regarding Austria, Vietnam has been working to develop the traditional relationship and multi-facet cooperation in general, as well as the high political trust between high-ranking leaders of the two nations in particular, Son remarked.

Both sides agreed on measures to further implement bilateral deals, especially those in the fields of innovation, energy transition, and culture.

The two also agreed to effectively execute the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), with the EU nation saying that it will soon ratify the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and urge the bloc to remove the ‘yellow card’ warning on Vietnamese seafood.

The yellow card is a kind of warning issued by the European Commission to countries involved in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Minister Son noted that the Italian Parliament ratified the EVIPA during President Thuong’s visit to this EU nation.

The ratification of the pact is expected to pave the way for both sides to strengthen their cooperation in some potential areas including digital economy, hi-tech, green development, and smart agriculture.

Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam pose for a group photo with Pope Francis in the Vatican on July 27, 2023. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong, his spouse, and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnamese officials pose for a group photo with Pope Francis in the Vatican on July 27, 2023. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

During his visit to the Vatican, President Thuong met with Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.

Vietnam and the Vatican agreed to conclude the ‘Agreement on the Status of the Resident Papal Representative and the Office of the Resident Papal Representative in Vietnam,’ marking a significant move in the bilateral ties, Minister Son said.

Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church in Vietnam needs to continue better implementing the vocation of ‘accompanying the nation’ and ‘good Catholics are good citizens,’ adding that Catholics and dignitaries in this Southeast Asian nation should actively contribute to the development of the country and the Church.

The Vietnamese state leader during the visits also met with representatives of the Vietnamese communities in Austria, Italy and Europe, Minister Son noted.

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