President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage.
Talking to Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasanna Gamage, President Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sri Lanka.
He highly valued the diplomat’s efforts to boost cultural exchanges and partnerships in religious affairs and trade while thanking the South Asian country for supporting Vietnam’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.
He asked the two countries to work together more closely in fisheries and agriculture, step up existing cooperation mechanisms, strive to raise bilateral trade to US$500 million, and expand ties in investment, tourism, education-training, culture, Buddhist affairs, and people-to-people exchanges.
They should also continue coordinating within the UN and Non-Aligned Movement frameworks, the President noted, calling on Sri Lanka to keep supporting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s common stance on the East Sea issue, maintenance of peace and freedom of navigation and overflight, and compliance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Ambassador Gamage once again thanked Vietnamese authorities for helping save and assist the 300 Sri Lankan nationals on a vessel in distress in the waters off Vung Tau in November 2022.
He underlined his country’s consistent stance on the East Sea issue and support for peace, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, and peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law and UNCLOS.
At the reception for Cambodian Ambassador Chay Navuth, President Phuc highlighted the two countries’ cooperation achievements, including increasingly consolidated political trust and the building of a shared border of peace, stability, friendship, and cooperation for common development.
Appreciating his guest’s efforts during the last tenure, he noted despite the Covid-19 pandemic, meetings between Vietnamese and Cambodian leaders have been maintained while bilateral trade in the first 11 months of 2022 increased 13.2% year-on-year to nearly US$10 billion.
The State leader applauded the two sides’ coordination in holding activities in celebration of the Vietnam - Cambodia Friendship Year 2022. He also congratulated Cambodia on its successes in holding communal-level council elections in June and serving as Chair of ASEAN and the 43rd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) this year.
Ambassador Navuth thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, and people for assisting Cambodia during the pandemic, noting that as ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam proposed many important initiatives to promote the bloc’s solidarity and cooperation in pandemic control.
Cambodia highly values Vietnam’s coordination in organising practical activities to reinforce the two countries’ traditional friendship, he went on, adding that in any position he holds, he will do his utmost to help nurture the long-standing relations between the two countries.