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Vietnam, New Zealand elevate ties to strategic partnership

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 15:09 GMT+7
Vietnam, New Zealand elevate ties to strategic partnership
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern are pictured during their online talks on July 22, 2020. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam and New Zealand established a strategic partnership on Wednesday on the 45th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic ties.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern agreed to formally elevate the two countries’ comprehensive partnership to a strategic level during their virtual summit on Wednesday.

The strategic partnership was set up as the countries observe the 45th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic ties, given the positive and sustainable development of the comprehensive partnership established in 2009.

It is based on the common interest and growing mutual trust between the two nations, the official Vietnam News Agency wrote.

The new partnership is hoped to create momentum for bilateral relations to further develop across all spheres, for the sake of the two peoples and for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

PM Phuc praised the comprehensive development of the two countries’ friendship and cooperation over the past decades and expressed appreciation for New Zealand’s official development assistance, which has boosted Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

He suggested that both sides maintain the growth of bilateral trade and strive for an annual trade turnover of US$2 billion in the near future.

Bilateral trade reached $1.3 billion in 2019, representing a year-on-year rise of 13 percent.

PM Ardern congratulated Vietnam on its success in coping with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, noting that both countries’ effective control of outbreaks has created favorable conditions for them to soon resume connectivity and cooperation in all aspects.

Regarding the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, both government leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the maritime area.

All disputes must be resolved via peaceful measures and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The two PMs emphasized that UNCLOS provides a solid legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.

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