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Vietnam, Italy strengthen ties
Publication Date : 23-01-2013
Vietnam Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have both expressed their delight at the establishment of a strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy.
At their meeting in Rome on Monday, the leaders said the strategic partnership will open up more opportunities for both sides to cooperate but also require greater efforts to develop their ties extensively and bring practical interests to their peoples.
Trong revealed he was pleased with his State visit to Italy and said Vietnam placed importance on Italy's position in the region and the world and wanted to foster its friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with the country.
He thanked the Italian people for their solidarity and valuable support given to Vietnam in its past struggle for national independence as well as in its current national construction and development, describing this as a firm foundation for the current bilateral growing friendship and cooperation.
He lauded Italy on prioritising economic, trade and investment cooperation with Vietnam by 2020 and continuing providing the country with official development assistance (ODA) in 2013-2015 while weathering the effects of economic and bad debt crises.
The Italian PM said he was impressed by the great achievements made by Vietnamese people during the renewal process. He affirmed that Italy attached special importance to and highly valued Vietnam's role and position in the regional and international arenas.
The two leaders agreed to strongly promote bilateral relations in all aspects, encourage and create conditions for their businesses to enhance investment cooperation in areas where Italy is successful and Vietnam has demand, such as infrastructure, energy and environment.
They also pledged to accelerate the signing and implementation of cooperation agreements in culture, education-training and defence-security, and continue effective coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums.
Italy supports Vietnam in strengthening its comprehensive cooperation with the EU in the Asean-EU framework while Vietnam backs Italy's promotion of relations with Asean countries.
They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern and on how to safeguard maritime security and safety, maintain peace and stability in the region and settle regional disputes with peaceful measures on the basis of international law.
After their meeting, Trong and Mario Monti witnessed the signing of a joint statement on the establishment of the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Italy House project and an action programme on educational cooperation between the two governments from 2013-2016.
Other signed documents included the MoUs on cooperation between the two Defence Ministries, collaborative and administrative assistance in the customs sector, plus cooperation between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the Italian National Oil and Gas Group.
The Italian side also granted an oil and gas exploration and exploitation licence to PetroVietnam.
On the same day, Party General Secretary Trong and his entourage attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the setting up of diplomatic relations on March 23, 1973 ushered in a new page in the history of the two countries' relationship and reflected Italy's valuable support for Vietnam at a time when it was fighting for national independence and unification.
Market of great potential
In its deeper renovation and greater global integration, Vietnam had become a market of great potential that draws much attention from Italian businesses, Minh said, adding that Italy was one of Vietnam's important partners in the EU with two-way trade continuously increasing in recent years.
"As an active Asean member and a coordinator for Asean-EU relations in the next three years, Vietnam is willing to support Italy in boosting its relations with Asean and member states," he noted.
The minister said that the establishment of the Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership during this visit marked the start of a new chapter in the bilateral ties with intensive, effective and sustainable development.
He affirmed that Vietnam always wanted to deepen its friendship and cooperation with Italy.
For his part, the Italian Foreign Minister stressed that Vietnam held a new central position in Italy's foreign policy in the context of the dynamic development of its relations with the whole Asian region.
The Vietnam-Italy strategic partnership would further improve the cooperation between the two sides, he added.
Also on January 21, the Vietnamese delegation visited an exhibition on Vietnam-Italy solidarity in the 1960-1970 period and enjoyed an art performance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
In the evening, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano hosted a national banquet in honour of Party leader Trong and his entourage.
Yesterday, Trong met Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) Secretary General Paolo Ferrero in Rome.
Trong said Vietnam always treasured the solidarity and precious support that Italian communists, left-wing forces and people had given Vietnam in the past and at present.
He also stressed that Vietnam valued friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Italy, one of the founders of the European Union and a country that played an important role in the world and regional and international forums.
He informed Ferrero about the decision of high-ranking leaders of both sides to lift bilateral ties to strategic partnership level in the interests of the people of both countries.
The upgrade of relations would create favourable conditions for the two parties to strengthen their relations, so they could support each other and share experiences, Trong said.
Ferrero, in turn, emphasised the importance of ties between the two parties in the current circumstances, and said his party hoped to exchange experiences with Vietnam in party building and development, as well as in economic management and cooperation.