Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VNA

Gaining many achievements

The Deputy PM said that 2016 was a year of instability with many unexpected developments, but peace still predominated as a common trend to any extents. Events that had never been considered for decades happened in 2016 such as the U.S. - Cuba normalization of diplomatic relations, the Iran nuclear deal, or peace restoration in Colombia. Meanwhile, turning points suddenly occurred even to a long-existing institution such as Brexit when the U.K. decided to leave the European Union.

According to the Deputy PM, traditional and non-traditional security situation became more intricate. Localized wars ragged some regions, especially the Middle East, and fights against the so-called Islamic State and climate change were going on. Fortunately, many deals were reached in 2016 after years of negotiation like the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Deputy PM said that Vietnam’s external activities in 2016 were continuation of those of the previous years. Last year, Vietnam basically finalized the establishment of strategic and comprehensive partnership with important countries worldwide. Many foreign leaders visited Vietnam in 2016, including Russian President, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China, French President, the U.K. Prime Minister, Japanese Prime Minister, President of the Republic of Korea, Indian Prime Minister. These activities mean that Vietnam’s framework of strategic and comprehensive partnership with other countries has been realized.

Vietnam also actively implemented multilateral activities in 2016. Accordingly, Vietnam partook in most of the international conferences, said the Deputy PM.

The Deputy PM also praised the defense external relations in 2016, saying that these activities contributed actively to the success of the country’s external affairs in the year. Visits made by leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense to other countries and vice versa helped consolidate political relations and trust between Vietnam and the respective countries.

“Vietnam participated actively in regional forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM), the ADMM+, etc. This is an important channel to strengthen solidarity in ASEAN and plays a central role in the bloc,” said the Deputy PM.

“It can be said that the defense external activities in 2016 have resulted in many positive outcomes,” he added.

Creating mutual interests in peace and stability

Highlighting the complicated situation in 2017, the Deputy PM confirmed that Vietnam consistently pursues the foreign policy of being a friend of all countries, diversifying and multilateralizing its international relations on the basis of independence, self-reliance, and respect for international law.

“Our aim is to create mutual interests with other countries, meaning peace and stability. Upholding this motto, we will implement measures to deepen relations within the existing framework of strategic and comprehensive partnership,” the Deputy PM stressed.

In 2017, Vietnam is to boost international integration in accordance with Resolution 06 of the 4th Meeting of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Vietnam. Moreover, Vietnam will also host the APEC 2017 with a higher stature than that of 2006. As the trend of professionalism and nationalism is forging big challenges against the APEC’s economic connectivity, Vietnam proposes four priorities: sustainable and innovative development; economic linkage; support for small and medium-sized businesses; and food security maintenance and adaptation to climate change.

The Deputy PM assured that those priorities are welcomed because they are suitable with the APEC economies. More importantly, they meet Vietnam’s current and future demands for socio-economic development.

Translated by Ngoc Hung