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Vietnam’s deputy premier emphasizes diversified foreign relations in interview

Saturday, January 07, 2017, 11:23 GMT+7

Vietnam hopes to be a friend of all countries to share common interests and maintain peace and security, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said during an interview with local media this week.

This aim can only be achieved by multilateralizing and diversifying relations on the basis of independence, self-reliance and respect for international law, the official said on Thursday.

Ties with strategic and comprehensive partners will continue to be deepened as Vietnam looks to promote relationships with all countries, especially its neighbors and those playing a significant role in the global picture, Minh underlined.

Vietnam also approves of peacefully settling disputes in the East Vietnam Sea through negotiations, such as those being conducted with China on the waters off the Gulf of Tonkin as well as those with Indonesia and Malaysia on the delimitation of continental shelves.

In 2016, Vietnam boosted its strategic and comprehensive partnerships through exchanges of high-level visits with China, the U.S., France and India, the deputy premier said.  

Multilaterally, its diplomatic activities were effective, Minh said, noting that Vietnam took part in key United Nations mechanisms last year.

Vietnam also worked closely with other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, toward building the ASEAN Economic Community, the group’s single-market initiative established on December 31, 2015.

Regarding preparations for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to be hosted by Vietnam in November, the foreign minister said the agenda and infrastructure for the forum had basically been completed, with a National Committee for APEC 2017 having been set up as early as 2015.

Vietnamese authorities are working closely together to successfully organize the international event, Minh stressed.

APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies whose economic leaders meet once every year to promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Hundreds of events and activities will be held within the APEC 2017 framework in the central city of Da Nang, including the APEC Week 2017 expected to gather nearly 10,000 delegates.

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