National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has expressed belief that the ongoing visit by Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Ali Ardeshir Larijani will contribute to consolidating traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Iran.
During talks with the Iranian parliament leader following a welcome ceremony in Hanoi on April 16, NA Chairwoman Ngan lauded the effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as Iran nuclear deal, which she said, has facilitated socio-economic development of Iran.
She called for close coordination between the two countries to lift two-way trade to US$2 billion with attention given to specific fields.
The Vietnamese NA leader expressed the wish to soon receive Iran’s diplomatic note supporting Vietnam’s run for a seat in the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, as agreed by the two countries’ leaders.
Larijani, for his part, congratulated the Vietnamese NA on successfully holding the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
He said he believed that the two countries will achieve the trade target, adding that Iran can assist Vietnam in the field of oil and gas, and wants to learn from Vietnam’s experience in agriculture.
The Iranian parliament speaker suggested boosting ties in potential fields such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, bank connectivity, tourism-culture, film, television, and exchange of lecturers and students.
He said while the two sides had operated several chartered flights, they need to consider launching direct flight service to step up economic, trade and tourism development.
Both sides agreed to enhance the exchange of all-level visits and coordinate more closely at global and regional forums, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Chairwoman Ngan said at recent Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meetings, some NAM members outside the Southeast Asian region objected to ASEAN’s update on the Southeast Asian section in the meetings’ documents.
She said the action ran counter to the practice and principles of the NAM which is solidarity, independence and not under pressure or intervention from outside.
She asked Iran to continue supporting and protecting the aforementioned principles for the sake of the NAM solidarity in the time ahead.
The two leaders said although bilateral trade reached 164.6 million USD in 2017, up 41 percent from the previous year, the figure has yet to match their huge potential.
Speaker Larijani said the statistics haven’t fully reflected the actual bilateral trade revenue since many Vietnamese products in Iran were imported via a third country. He noted the Iranian Government is creating conditions for Vietnamese tourists, including granting visas at ports of entry. If the Vietnamese Government also provides similar conditions, bilateral trade will increase, he said.
Chairwoman Ngan said Iran is a populous Middle Eastern country while Vietnam is a populous nation in Southeast Asia. They should prioritise the trading of the goods of each side’s strength and speed up the settlement of payment hurdles, while encouraging market survey, trade promotion and investment activities between the two countries’ businesses.
She said the fields of information technology and telecommunications boast major cooperation potential. Vietnam wants to make bilateral partnership in these spheres into a breakthrough in bilateral ties, thereby stimulating cooperation in other fields.
Vietnam’s military-run telecom group Viettel is very interested in the telecom market of Iran, she said, asking Iran to create favourable conditions for Viettel to take part in telecom projects in the Middle Eastern nation.
Larijani said his country will support the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to reactivate the Danan project. His visit this time is also meant to listen to opinions of Vietnamese businesses interested in investing in Iran so as to remove obstacles and strengthen partnership.
Iran is ready to provide scholarships for Vietnamese students to study the Persian language and other subjects, continue exchanging university lecturers and students, and step up cultural and tourism cooperation through organising exhibitions, film screening and other cultural events.
Regarding parliamentary ties, Chairwoman Ngan affirmed that parliamentary relations are an important channel in Vietnam’s foreign policy. She expressed his hope that the two parliaments will bolster delegation exchanges at all levels, especially between specialized committees to share legislative and supervisory experience.
She noted that the 14th NA of Vietnam had set up an 8-member Vietnam-Iran parliamentary friendship group chaired by Vice Chairman of the NA’s Judicial Affairs Committee Nguyen Van Pha, adding that the two sides should further bring into play the role of their parliamentary friendship groups in enhancing cooperation between the two parliaments and the two countries.
The two leaders also agreed to bolster supervising and push the effective implementation of the signed agreements, including the deals reached by the countries’ inter-governmental committee.
Regional and international issues of shared concern were also discussed during the talks. Chairwoman Ngan said the East Sea is a shipping route linking Europe, the Middle East and Africa with East Sea, which is used for the transportation of 50 percent of all the goods delivered by sea around the world.
Keeping peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea is the common interest of all countries inside and outside the region, she said, stressing that Vietnam advocates the settlement of East Sea disputes by peaceful means, in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and with respect for diplomatic and legal processes along with the rights and legitimate interests of relevant parties.
Sharing the view, Speaker Larijani said in resolving conflicts and disputes, Iran prioritise diplomatic solutions.
At the end of the talks, Chairwoman Ngan accepted an invitation to visit Iran from the Iranian Speaker, saying that she will arrange time for the visit.
The Vietnamese NA leader is to chair a banquet for the Iranian guests in the evening the same day.