Lauding the significant strides in bilateral relations, Minister Son stated that Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to promote cooperation with Spain, the first strategic partner of Vietnam in the European Union (E.U.).

He asked the two sides to increase high-level mutual visits and meetings, maintain the frequency of the political consultation at the deputy ministerial level, and coordinate to review and upgrade the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two foreign ministries along with the joint action plan of the two governments.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (right) and Diego Martinez Belio, State Secretary for Foreign and Global Affairs of Spain, at their meeting in Hanoi on April 16

Son recommended the countries continue to fruitfully implement the E.U. - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to soon raise bilateral trade from USD 4 billion at present to USD 5 billion. He also called on Spain to promote the remaining E.U. countries’ ratification of the E.U. - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), as well as the European Commission’s early removal of the “yellow card” warning over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for Vietnam.

The minister also voiced his hope that the Government and enterprises of Spain will seize opportunities to cooperate with Vietnam in human resources training, institutional building, and infrastructure development, which are the three strategic breakthroughs the Southeast Asian nation is targeting.

Expressing delight at his visit to Vietnam and the resumption of the political consultation after seven years, Belio affirmed Vietnam is a leading priority of Spain in Southeast Asia and that his country hopes to further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

He pledged close coordination with the Vietnamese side to step up delegation exchanges, soon renew the MoU between the two foreign ministries, including fostering the collaboration between the countries’ diplomatic academies, and update the countries’ joint action plan.

The State Secretary expressed Spain’s wish to enhance ties with Vietnam in terms of transport infrastructure, renewable energy, and education, including promoting the teaching of the Spanish language in Vietnam. He also stated that his country will strengthen bilateral connections in the fields of science - technology, culture, sports, and tourism.

With regard to international and regional issues, both host and guest agreed that their countries will maintain coordination and mutual support at international and regional forums such as the United Nations and the ASEAN - E.U. cooperation.

They shared the viewpoint of respecting law and supporting ASEAN and Vietnam’s stance on the peaceful settlement of sea-related issues on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Earlier on April 16, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and State Secretary Belio co-chaired the fifth political consultation between the two countries.

The two sides reviewed cooperation, identified orientations and measures for bolstering the Vietnam - Spain strategic partnership towards the future, and looked into some international and regional issues of shared concern.

They agreed to hold the sixth political consultation at the deputy ministerial level in Spain in the time ahead.

Source: VNA