Vietnam, France upgrade relations to strategic partnership

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Vietnam and France upgraded their ties to a strategic partnership during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's three-day visit to Paris which concluded Thursday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Dung and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault Wednesday signed a joint statement on the strategic partnership, which seeks to enhance cooperation in politics and diplomacy, defense and security, economy, trade and investment, culture, education and training, scientific research, and law and justice.

They also witnessed the signing of a series of deals in banking, healthcare, oil and gas, aviation, and transport.


During talks before the signing, Dung reiterated Vietnam's policy of attaching importance to its relations with France, adding the strategic partnership is not a destination but a new starting point.


He sought favorable conditions for Vietnamese goods to enter the French market and asked France prioritize financial assistance for urban infrastructure, clean energy, vocational training, agriculture, biodiversity, and environmental protection in Vietnam.  


Ayrault said France would help Vietnam in boosting ties with the EU, especially economic and trade ties.


On the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, the French side supported Vietnam's policy of settling disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and quickly creating a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Dung also met President Francois Hollande and the president of the Senate, Jean-Pierre Bel.

He received French Communist Party National Secretary Pierre Laurent and met with representatives of France's leading companies.

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