Vietnam, Greece Seek Stronger Cooperation

The foreign ministers of Vietnam and Greece have agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels and closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral and international forums, including the United Nations and the cooperation frameworks of ASEAN-EU and ASEM.

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Vietnam, Greece Seek Stronger Cooperation
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (right) and his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias in Hanoi on August 1. Photo: The World & Vietnam Report

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held talks with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias in Hanoi on August 1, during which the two sides sought measures to strengthen cooperation in areas of potential, VietnamPlus reported.

Highlighting the significance of the Greek Foreign Minister’s visit, Son said it contributes to implementing outcomes of the official visit to Vietnam by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou last May, and advancing the friendship and traditional cooperation between the two countries.

They noted with pleasure developments of their bilateral collaboration since the establishment of Vietnam-Greece diplomatic ties in 1975, which has been promoted and expanded in areas such as politics, diplomacy, national defence, economy, trade and labour.

The ministers agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially the high level, and closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral and international forums, including the United Nations and the cooperation frameworks of ASEAN-EU and ASEM.

Son thanked Greece for its donation of 250,000 doses of Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine, and appreciated its gift worth EUR50,000 to the Vietnam Olympic Committee.

He also spoke highly of Greece’s early ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and suggested the two sides closely coordinate to maximise opportunities brought about by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), especially in the fields of maritime economy, transportation and seaports, and food processing, thus facilitating the penetration of Vietnamese agricultural products to supermarkets in Greece.

Vietnam, Greece Seek Stronger Cooperation
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held talks with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias in Hanoi on August 1. Photo: The World & Vietnam Report

Son proposed the two sides soon conclude negotiations to reach a marine transportation agreement and another on double taxation avoidance, and asked Greece to urge the EU to soon lift the “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seafood.

For his part, Dendias lauded the socio-economic achievements Vietnam has recorded, as well as the country’s increasingly important role in the region and the world at large.

The minister noted his hope for stronger cooperation with Vietnam in Greece’s policy towards Asia-Pacific.

He suggested the two countries maintain cooperation mechanisms, including the political consultation between the two foreign ministries, and affirmed his support for sending Vietnamese guest workers to Greece and enhancing cooperation between localities.

Dendias expressed his wish to place a monument of late President Ho Chi Minh in Greece, and pledged to encourage EU countries to soon ratify the EVIPA.

The ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared concern. Regarding the East Sea (Bien Dong Sea) issue, Dendias backed Vietnam’s stance and emphasised Greece’s and the EU’s consistent stance on the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of aviation, the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures and respect for international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

On this occasion, the two ministers witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in personnel training between the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the Greek Diplomacy Academy.

Forging cooperation in different fields

Vietnam, Greece Seek Stronger Cooperation
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias. Photo: VNA

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 1 suggested Vietnam and Greece foster cooperation in such areas as education-training, maritime transport, national defence, labour, agriculture, people-to-people exchange and collaboration between localities.

At a reception for Greek FM Dendias in Hanoi, the President noted with pleasure positive developments of the Vietnam-Greece relations, Nhan dan (People) newspaper said.

The leader viewed Greek President Katerina Sakellaroupoulu’s visit to Vietnam last May as a hallmark in the bilateral ties, contributing to increasing mutual understanding and facilitating mutually beneficial development.

Ample room remains for economic cooperation, especially at a time when the two economies have benefited from the EVFTA and the EVIPA, Phuc said.

For his part, Dendias affirmed that Greece attaches importance to Vietnam’s role and position in the region, and backs the country in its efforts to enhance the partnership and comprehensive cooperation with the EU, he affirmed.

The two countries should continue their effective coordination and mutual support at multilateral and international forums, the FM continued.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he emphasised Greece’s support for Vietnam’s and ASEAN’s stance on settling disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, contributing to maintaining peace and development in the region and the world.

Treasuring traditional friendship

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias. Photo: VNA

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that the Vietnamese government always attaches importance to the traditional friendship with Greece while receiving Greek FM Dendias the same day.

Vietnam and Greece should step up meetings and delegation exchanges at all levels, especially the high-level ones, and continue their mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, the PM said.

He also suggested the two countries play a more active role in handling regional and global issues, and effectively cooperate in such spheres as trade, agriculture, labour, culture, sports and tourism.

Expressing his delight at the bilateral trade, the PM called on Greece to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to penetrate the Greek market and the EU.

Businesses of the two countries should optimise the great opportunities generated by the EVFTA and the EVIPA in order to raise the bilateral trade revenue to USD5 billion as agreed by Vietnamese and Greek senior leaders, Chinh continued.

Dendias congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, controlling inflation, stabilising the macro-economy, ensuring major balances, and boosting economic recovery and development.

He affirmed that Greece always considers Vietnam a priority and important partner in the region and wishes to further strengthen multifaceted cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation./.

Rosy Huong