HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Friday paid a visit to Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he was visiting the country ahead of the highly-anticipated ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday.
This was the first foreign trip and first in-person diplomatic meeting with another head of state for the newly-elected Vietnamese Government leader, while Chính was also the first ASEAN head of state to arrive in Indonesia for the summit.
Joko Widodo welcomed and congratulated Chính for having earned the confidence of the National Assembly of Việt Nam to elect him to lead the Government, expressed admiration for Việt Nam’s achievements in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with economic recovery and development efforts.
The Indonesian leader affirmed that Indonesia attaches great importance to relations with Việt Nam and wishes to elevate the traditional friendship and strategic partnership to new heights.
PM Chính commended Indonesia’s efforts in containing the coronavirus outbreaks and expressed his confidence that the country would soon prevail against the challenges and continue socio-economic development in the realisation of the Vision of Indonesia 2045.
The Vietnamese PM shared with President Joko Widodo some highlights of the results of the 13th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, the major orientations of the development plan for the 2021-25 period with a vision towards 2030-45, affirming that Việt Nam continues to pursue a foreign policy of independence, autonomy, multilateralisation and diversification, proactively integrating into the world in a comprehensive and extensive manner. Particularly, Việt Nam attaches great importance to consolidating and expanding cooperative relations with other countries in the region, including Indonesia.
Reflecting on the history of close relations between the two countries, PM Chính and President Widodo emphasised the importance and special meaning of the Việt Nam-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, the foundation of which was laid by the two countries’ respective founders, President Hồ Chí Minh and President Soekarno, and one that has been cultivated robustly by both sides’ leadership and people over the past 65 years.
The two sides noted with pleasure how the bilateral cooperation has been getting more profound, with growing political trust and increasingly effective economic, trade, and investment.
Regarding the orientation for promoting bilateral relations, the two leaders agreed to strengthen exchanges at high-level and at all levels and channels in a flexible manner, effectively implementing bilateral cooperation mechanisms and agreements, especially the Strategic Partnership Action Plan for 2019-23 and Joint Vision Statement between the Ministry of National Defence of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia on Defence Activities Cooperation towards 2017-22.
Việt Nam and Indonesia pledged to continue to facilitate businesses, promote trade, and soon resume flight routes at an appropriate time; strive to soon bring bilateral trade turnover to US$10 billion with trade balance and recovery and post-pandemic sustainable economic development in mind; and address all problems arising in the spirit of the Strategic Partnership and mutual benefits.
Regarding PM Chính’s request to enable easier access for Vietnamese fruit to the Indonesia market, the Indonesian President said he would direct relevant agencies to review the issue.
The two sides have also shared experience and lessons in combating the pandemic, expressed commitment on further cooperation in healthcare and vaccine production and biopharmaceuticals.
Both leaders affirmed that they attach special importance to the need to soon complete the negotiation on the boundary of the exclusive economic zone between the two countries to create a legal corridor for the two sides to strengthen cooperation and reduce cases of illegal fishing, creating a model for settling differences at sea among nations, contributing to peacekeeping, cooperation and development in the region.
Both sides affirmed that they will continue to cooperate closely and effectively at regional and international forums, especially in ASEAN, APEC and the United Nations; agreed to work together with other ASEAN member states to constantly strengthen solidarity and promote ASEAN’s centrality in regional strategic issues, including the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue; closely coordinate in the implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and negotiations towards an effective and working Code of Conduct (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
PM Chính and President Widodo agreed on the special importance of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta on Saturday, the first ever face-to-face meeting of ASEAN in over a year, as an opportunity for the leaders to exchange development orientations of the ASEAN Community as well as the discussions of emerging international and regional issues that have a direct impact on ASEAN, including the Myanmar crisis, with the aim of stabilising the situation, reducing casualties, resuming dialogues between relevant parties in search of peaceful measures to maintain stability, peace in the region and in the world.
PM Chính has invited Indonesian President to visit Việt Nam at an appropriate time and the latter gladly accepted the invitation. — VNS