Vietnam empathizes with India amid coronavirus deluge

By Phuong Vu   April 28, 2021 | 11:08 pm PT
Vietnam empathizes with India amid coronavirus deluge
A woman is consoled after her husband died due to Covid-19 outside a mortuary of a hospital in New Delhi, India, April 15, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Danish Siddiqui.
Vietnam empathizes with India regarding its current coronavirus crisis and believes the country would make it through these tough times, leaders said.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent the message to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday, adding Vietnam trusts India would utilize its internal strength to survive these trying times.

The same day, the 23rd ASEAN-India Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) was conducted online with the participation of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung and his Indian counterpart Riva Ganguly Das, the ministry said in a press release.

Das thanked ASEAN countries for expressing sympathy and solidarity during the fight against a Covid-19 crisis that is getting increasingly complex. He also stressed India and ASEAN need to continue cooperating to deal with the pandemic through experience and technological exchanges, as well as vaccine production and distribution.

ASEAN praised the fact India had contributed $1 million to the ASEAN fund for Covid-19 response, and wished to continue collaborating with the country to facilitate comprehensive and sustainable recovery in the region.

Both sides have agreed to focus resources into prioritized fields like commerce and investment, aiming for trade turnover to reach $200 billion in 2022, as well as marine cooperation, disaster prevention, climate change adaptation and lessening the developmental gap. India has also affirmed to continue providing scholarships for students from ASEAN countries, as well as use $1 billion in credit to support infrastructural connectivity and development projects.

ASEAN and India affirmed to cooperate and contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region, including maritime security and safety at the South China Sea. India supports ASEAN’s stance on the South China Sea and promoting dialogue and trust, ensuring the effective and comprehensive conduct of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the creation of a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea (COC).

India reported Thursday a record rise in coronavirus cases and deaths over the last 24 hours.

With 379,257 new cases and 3,645 new deaths, India's total number of cases and deaths are now stood at 18.38 million and 204,832, according to health ministry data.

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