Vietnamese, Myanmar top legislators hold talks to seek stronger ties

Monday, 2017-05-15 15:29:07
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National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) welcomes Speaker of Myanmar’s Parliament and House of Nationalities Mahn Win Khaing Than (Photo: quochoi.vn)
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NDO/ VNA – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on May 15 held talks with Speaker of Myanmar’s Parliament and House of Nationalities Mahn Win Khaing Than who is on a week-long official visit to Vietnam.

At the talks, organized following a welcome ceremony for the Myanmar top legislator in Hanoi the same day, NA Chairwoman Ngan affirmed the significance of the traditional friendship between the two countries, which was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and General Aung San, as well as the need to further promote the 40-year-old ties.

On security-defence cooperation, she suggested Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than and Myanmar share viewpoints and common interest in regional peace and security and underscored that the Vietnamese NA supports the strengthening of the cooperation through the exchange of information, experience as well as the promotion of existing cooperation mechanisms.

Regarding economic relations, she expressed hope that the Myanmar parliament will join in supervising trade-investment ties and providing optimal conditions for business activities to grow strongly.

The two sides should effectively implement the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the joint sub-committee on trade cooperation in February 2017, while continuing negotiating and speeding up the signing of cooperation deals in agro-forestry-fisheries, culture, transportation, finance, justice, and education, stated Ngan.

The NA leader spoke highly of sound partnership between the two countries at regional and international forums, especially at the ASEAN, UN and Non-Aligned Movement.

Vietnam proposed that the two sides continue forging closer coordination within the framework of the ASEAN as well as other regional and international forums, including Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Strategy Summit, East-West Economic Corridor, Greater Mekong Subregion, and the UN.

The two sides should also work together in effectively and sustainably utilising Mekong River water resources, she said, adding that Vietnam hopes that Myanmar will become a member of the Mekong River Commission.

Expressing delight at the growing ties between the two parliaments, Ngan noted that the two sides are effectively realising their agreement signed in September 2013. She noted that the Myanmar visit made by the Vietnamese NA delegation in 2016 to attend the 37th Assembly of the AIPA and the current visit of the Myanmar NA leader demonstrate the close connection between parliamentarians of both sides.

For his part, Mahn Win Khaing Than expressed his pleasure at the sound relationship between the two countries. Noting that the bilateral legislative ties started far before the two countries set up their diplomatic ties in 1975, he cited Doctor Pham Ngoc Thach’s visit to Myanmar in January 1948 to attend the country’s Independence Day, and President Ho Chi Minh’s Myanmar visit in 1958.

Since then, Vietnam and Myanmar have supported each other in hard times, while regularly exchanging delegations and setting up bilateral cooperation mechanisms, he said, adding that the two sides are preparing for the seventh political consultation between the two Foreign Ministries in 2017.

Along with sound political ties, the two sides have enjoyed fruitful people-to-people exchanges, as last year, more than 30,000 Vietnamese visited Myanmar, he said.

He cited the success of the Vietnamese-invested firms, including the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), and Viettel, the fourth largest telecom service provider in Myanmar. He called for more Vietnamese investors to consider Myanmar.

The top legislator said that the Myanmar parliament hopes to forge stronger cooperation and connectivity with other parliaments, including Vietnam, as does the country’s friendship parliamentarian group.

On the East Sea issue, he confirmed Myanmar’s stance that all parties should fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, settle disputes through peaceful measures based on the core principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

Myanmar supports the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), he said, highlighting the need for cooperation for the early signing of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea. Myanmar will work closely with regional countries to voice a common position in the field, he stated.

At the talks, the two sides agreed on the continued implementation of the outcomes of Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw’s visit to Vietnam in 2016 and the visit of General Min Aung Hliang, Commander-In-Chief of Myanmar Armed Forces in March, 2017.

The two sides should promptly set up a “defence policy dialogue” at the defence deputy ministerial level, and a “joint working group” between the departments for external relations of the two Defence Ministries, they stressed.

They agreed to create legal conditions to support the respective businesspeople in investing and doing business.

The Vietnamese side suggested the early signing of a cooperation agreement on customs and finance, as well as the supplement to the agreement on investment promotion and protection and the memorandum of understanding on investment promotion in the current circumstances, focusing on potential fields as banking, aviation, telecommunication, oil and gas and agriculture.

Both sides agreed on the need to continue maintaining the exchange of senior leaders of the two parliaments and the two friendship parliamentarian groups for sharing experience in legislative, supervision activities as well as viewpoints on international and regional issues of shared concern.

The two leaders urged the two friendship parliamentarian groups to promote their role in popularizing the traditional ties between the two countries.

They concurred that the two parliaments will consult and support each other’s viewpoints at global and regional parliamentarian unions for the common interest of the two countries and building ASEAN solidarity. Both sides should also continue coordinating in supervising the implementation of agreements and cooperation programmes reached between the two parliaments.

The two parliaments will also work harder to strengthen people-to-people connection and boost bilateral traditional relations, they said. The Myanmar top legislator promised to urge relevant agencies to form a Myanmar-Vietnam Friendship Association.

Earlier, Mahn Win Khaing Than and the Myanmar delegation paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and visited the President Ho Chi Minh relic sides at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi.

In the evening the same day, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hosted a banquet for the Myanmar guests at the NA Building.