Vietnam and the Philippines are expected to close a strategic partnership agreement when they attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum slated for November 2015 in Manila, a Vietnamese diplomat said Friday.
The two countries will foster their bilateral cooperation to deal with regional and international issues of mutual concerns, including the East Vietnam Sea issue, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Truong Trieu Duong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, citing the draft text of the agreement.
Ambassador Duong also dismissed a September 3 report by Filipino Inquirer newspaper, which quoted him as saying that “the two countries would scale up their military alliance.”
The diplomat said he did not say so.
“I only said that the two countries will strengthen military cooperation, not ‘military alliance’.”
Duong also told Tuoi Tre that Vietnam’s foreign policy is to not enter into alliance with any country.
According to the Inquirer, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters in Manila on September 2 night that
the strategic partnership agreement would likely be signed on the sidelines of the APEC’s Leaders Meeting in Manila on November 18 and 19.
Del Rosario made the statement after delivering a speech at a function held to welcome the 70th anniversary of the Vietnam National Day, according to the Filipino newspaper.
In his speech, Del Rosario considered the strategic partnership as a “mechanism to deliver a higher rate of return” in terms of the two countries’ cooperation.
“We are sure of the success of this partnership. As strategic partners, we aim to deliver results and cooperation at the highest possible level,” the Inquirer quoted Del Rosario as saying at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.
Ambassador Duong was also cited by the newspaper as saying that the draft of the agreement is almost finished and it will be more comprehensive, enabling the partnership to achieve better results in every aspect of relations between the two countries.