Welcoming the Vietnamese leader, Sassoli highly valued the country’s role in the region, stressing the E.P. and Vietnam share common interests in multiple areas and that the E.P. wants to enhance all-round cooperation with the country in such fields as trade and investment, COVID-19 prevention and control, and response to climate change, including challenges to water resources, saltwater intrusion, and drought.

Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue (left) and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli pose for a photo ahead of their meeting on September 8.

Hue affirmed that the European Union (E.U.) is a partner of leading importance in Vietnam’s foreign and international integration policies.

The two sides have maintained high-level meetings; signed and effectively implemented many important cooperation agreements such as the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the E.U.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA); and maintained regular cooperation and dialogue cooperation mechanisms, thereby helping to lift the Vietnam - E.U. comprehensive partnership and cooperation, including the ties between the Vietnamese NA and the E.P., to a new height, according to the Chairman.

At the talks, the two leaders discussed issues to further intensify the two parliaments’ ties so as to help develop Vietnam - E.U. relations more strongly for the sake of both sides.

To promote economic and trade links comprehensively, Hue expressed his hope that the E.P. will help promote its member parliaments’ ratification of the E.U. - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to step up investment cooperation while continuing to facilitate the implementation of the EVFTA.

Regarding collaboration in the COVID-19 combat, he thanked the E.P., relevant agencies of the E.U., and parliamentarians’ groups in the E.P. for supporting and assisting Vietnam in the fight. He also echoed the E.P.’s viewpoint that only solidarity, sharing, and confidence of victory can help people address the pandemic’s consequences and return to a “new normal” life.

Particularly, Hue said, as the pandemic is developing more complicatedly, it requires stronger inter-regional (between ASEAN and the E.U.) and global cooperation to continue maintaining achievements in socio-economic development.

He also voiced his hope that the E.P. will accelerate vaccine supply from Europe via the COVAX Facility and sharing of redundant vaccines, along with medical supplies and COVID-19 drugs, and cooperate with the country in vaccine production.

Vietnam is ready to make all-round preparations to become a regional vaccine production center, the top Vietnamese legislator emphasized.

He also took this occasion to ask the E.P. to support the removal of the “yellow card” warning on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing against Vietnam’s fishery sector to help guarantee livelihoods for Vietnamese fishermen. He stated that the country has been exerting every effort to deal with the problem and gained positive outcomes.

With regard to bilateral parliamentary cooperation, the N.A. Chairman held that the achievements obtained so far should be promoted, and both sides should increase contacts at all levels.

Given this, he invited the E.P. President to visit Vietnam to discuss issues of common concern, including the establishment of practical and effective cooperation frameworks between the two parliaments.

For his part, Sassoli said the EVFTA is an exemplary cooperation model, adding that the E.P. has ratified the EVIPA and is promoting the remaining member parliaments’ ratification.

The E.P. sympathizes with Vietnam’s current difficulties and will strive to seek vaccine and medical supplies for the country’s fight against COVID-19 as soon as possible, he noted.

The two leaders shared the view that relations between the Vietnamese N.A. and the E.P. are flourishing in both bilateral and multilateral channels, agreeing to increase the exchange of all-level delegations and share information and experience in parliamentary activities.

The talks between the leaders of the Vietnamese N.A. and the E.P. in Brussels

During the talks, the two sides exchanged views on issues related to international peace, security, and cooperation and underlined the role of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) in settling disputes and maintaining security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight.

They also agreed to closely coordinate and make active contributions to regional and international forums.

Following the talks, Hue received heads of the E.P.’s Committee on International Trade (INTA), the delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN (DASE), the E.P.’s parliamentary friendship group. They looked into measures to reinforce ties in areas of common interest, including trade and EVFTA implementation.

Source: VNA