Hanoi [Vietnam], July 13 (VNA/ANI): Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab expressed their belief that the relations between Vietnam and the UK will be expanded and enhanced in the time ahead, during their phone talks on Monday.
They expressed satisfaction at the strong development of the bilateral strategic partnership over the past decade and shared the view that the two countries still have huge potential for further cooperation.
Minh, who is also Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, proposed the two countries increase exchanges and visits while maintaining cooperation mechanisms, including the strategic dialogue at the deputy ministerial level.
He also called for more efforts towards the signing of the Vietnam-UK free trade agreement.
The official lauded the British government's efforts and initiatives to promote international collaboration in the fight against COVID-19, and pledged that Vietnam stands ready to join hands with the UK in these efforts.
Minh also suggested that the two sides should continue their mutual support in citizen protection, saying Vietnam facilitates the entry of foreign investors, experts, managers and labourers, including those from the UK.
For his part, Raab stressed that the UK considers Vietnam an important partner in Asia-Pacific and South-East Asia in its foreign policy and wishes to deepen the strategic partnership across spheres and strengthen bilateral agreements to maintain the pace of the bilateral ties, notably in economy and trade, when the UK leaves the European Union.
He congratulated Vietnam on its successes in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked Vietnamese competent agencies and doctors for their dedication in treating the British pilot.
The minister told the Vietnamese official that the UK has listed Vietnam among the countries from where travellers would be exempted from quarantine regulations.
He praised Vietnam's ASEAN Chairmanship and non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and promised that the UK will further cooperate and coordinate with Vietnam in multilateral frameworks, the UNSC and other multilateral forums.
Raab also affirmed the UK's support in maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
The minister expressed his hope for stronger ASEAN-UK ties and called on Vietnam to back the cooperation.
In this regard, Minh said as the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam supports external partners, including the UK, to step up cooperation with the grouping and applauds sides' contributions to peace, cooperation and the observance of international law in the region and the world. (VNA/ANI)