Australia wants deeper Vietnam ties sooner than later

By Viet Tuan   September 7, 2023 | 07:48 am PT
Australia wants deeper Vietnam ties sooner than later
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) meets with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 7, 2023. Photo by Nhat Bac
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese asked Vietnam on Thursday to soon complete the internal procedures necessary to upgrade the two countries' ties to an official comprehensive strategic partnership.

Meeting Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the ASEAN 43 Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Albanese reaffirmed that the enhancement of relations with Vietnam is important to Australia and that he hopes General Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will visit his country soon.

Albanese said that Australia guarantees that it will always prioritize ODA support for Vietnam, especially in high-demand fields like climate change response, energy transition and digital transformation. He also asked that Vietnam complete its official processes so the two countries can officially announce the upgrade in their relations.

Albanese also acknowledged Chinh's request regarding more cooperation on labor, education and training, as well as scholarships for Vietnamese students.

Both prime ministers said they would positively contribute to dialogues, cooperation and fostering trust through mechanisms helmed by ASEAN.

Australia supports ASEAN's efforts to narrow down developmental gaps and support less-developed regions, including the Mekong subregion.

Vietnam and Australia established diplomatic relations in 1973, before upgrading their ties to strategic partnership in March 2018. In an official visit to Australia by National Assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in December 2022, both countries agreed to consider an upgrade to their relations at an appropriate time, once relevant procedures could be completed.

A comprehensive strategic partnership is the highest level of partnership between countries. Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with around 200 countries, including 33 that are either strategic or comprehensive partners. Vietnam's four comprehensive strategic partners are China, Russia, India and South Korea.

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