Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Rajak have agreed to develop the Vietnam-Malaysia relations into a strategic partnership. The two premiers made the agreement at their talks in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, where PM Dung is on a two-day visit, according to the Vietnam News Agency. The host and guest expressed their delight at the sound development of the bilateral ties between the two countries, and discussed measures to strengthen their current comprehensive partnership. The two leaders agreed to increase exchanges of high-ranking delegations, expand cooperation, and prepare an action plan toward setting up a strategic partnership between the two countries. The two sides also agreed to the early establishment of a deputy ministerial-level defense dialogue mechanism and the signing of a memorandum of understanding on joint patrol, hotline contact, search and rescue coordination, and other important issues. The two government leaders vowed to speed up the signing of a Government-level memorandum of understanding on rice trade for 2015-2020. They also agreed to step up the implementation of specific projects in the key sectors of oil and gas, liquefied gas, electronics, consumer goods and food processing. Both the PMs stressed the need to have a cooperation mechanism to address sea- and ocean-related issues. They also agreed to establish a hotline on illegal fishing, and cooperate in joint patrol at bordering and overlapping sea areas.
They affirmed that both countries abide by the commitment of not allowing any individuals and organizations to use each country’s territory to conduct actions against the other. The host and guest shared concerns over recent developments in the East Vietnam Sea, which have caused negative impacts on peace, security and stability in the region. They shared the same view that all disputes related to the East Vietnam Sea should be settled based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations on the Law of the Sea. All the parties involved must fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea, restrain themselves and avoid any actions that accelerate tensions in the region, including coercing or using force to unilaterally change the status quo, and work towards the building of a Code of Conduct in the sea area, the two leaders said. After their talks, the two PMs signed a joint statement on the Vietnam-Malaysia strategic partnership framework.