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France to support Vietnam’s sovereignty over waters, airspace: Hollande

Wednesday, September 07, 2016, 10:25 GMT+7
France to support Vietnam’s sovereignty over waters, airspace: Hollande
French President François Hollande and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang at the welcome ceremony in Hanoi on September 6, 2016

France will support Vietnam in the protection of its sovereign waters and airspace, visiting President François Hollande announced on Tuesday.

The French president joined talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi in the morning, as part of his official visit to Vietnam from September 6 to 7.

President Quang considered the visit of his guest to be of great significance in elevating France- Vietnam relations and would contribute to the effective development of the two nations’ strategic partnership.

Focus should be directed at long-term visions to strengthen political and economic ties as well as collaboration in infrastructure, aviation, agriculture, healthcare, and environmental protection among others, the Vietnamese head of state said.

More regular exchanges will be carried out between the two defense ministries while cooperation in aviation and navigation security will also be enhanced.

Regarding regional issues, the two parties reiterated the importance of preserving the freedom of overflight and navigation and the peaceful settlement of all disputes in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also stressed full compliance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and the establishment of a Code of Conduct (COC) for the maritime area.

Speaking to his host, President Hollande said that France-Vietnam political ties would be strengthened on the basis of mutual trust.

France supports Vietnam’s efforts to defend its sovereign waters and airspace, the French head of state continued.

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France’s President François Hollande speaks at the Vietnam National University-Hanoi on September 6, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to Hollande, Vietnam is a crucial partner in Southeast Asia with over 300,000 French businesses running operations here.

He gave mention to the recent deal between Vietnamese carriers and France’s aircraft manufacturing giant Airbus.

Low-cost private airline VietJet bought 20 planes while national carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget airline Jetstar Pacific bought 10 each in deals worth US$6.5 billion.

Hollande also expressed his hope for more direct flights between the two nations and further cooperation in recycled energy and nuclear power.

During his speech at the Vietnam National University-Hanoi later the same day, the visiting president said that his visit would open up more opportunities for collaboration in education between France and Vietnam.

He also pledged to continue fostering existing ties in the field, aimed at establishing better universities and providing Vietnamese students favorable conditions to study in France.

The French head of state also hoped the French language would be widely taught and learned in the Southeast Asian country.

In the afternoon, President Hollande took a walk around Hanoi’s Old Quarter before meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

He left the Vietnamese capital for Ho Chi Minh City on the evening of the same day.

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