|President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D’Hose (left) had talks with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn. — VNA/VNS Photo Hương Giang
BRUSSELS — Belgium will soon have projects to support Việt Nam in Agent Orange/Dioxin contamination clean-up, President of the Belgian Senate Stephanie D’Hose said when receiving Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn in Brussel, adding that Belgium will back the European Parliament (EP) on passing a resolution and taking actions to support Việt Nam in this regard.
The Senate leader hailed the significance of foreign minister Sơn’s working visit to Belgium from January 31 to February 1, which was the first Foreign Minister-level visit between the two countries in the past 12 years and in the context that the two countries have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations and the 5th anniversary of their Strategic Partnership on Agriculture in 2023.
At the reception, the Belgium official agreed the Vietnamese National Assembly and the Belgian Federal Parliament will soon sign a cooperation agreement, and welcomed the two legislatures’ cooperation at regional and global inter-parliamentary forums.
|President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Éliane Tillieux had talks with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn in Brussels. — VNA/VNS Photo Hương Giang
Meanwhile, President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Éliane Tillieux affirmed that the chamber’s passing a resolution calling for support for AO victims is a strong message to the international community to support Việt Nam in overcoming the consequences of AO.
She added that to implement the resolution, she will call on experienced Belgian businesses to participate in detoxification projects in Việt Nam.
During the meetings with the Belgian legislative leaders, foreign minister affirmed that Việt Nam always hopes to strengthen friendship relations and cooperation with Belgium across the fields. He appreciated the attention of the Belgian parliament and the Belgium-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentary Group to promote the multi-faceted cooperation with the Vietnamese NA.
He thanked the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium for being the first legislative body in the world to pass the resolution calling for support for AO victims, thereby drawing the international community’s attention and support for tackling war consequences in Việt Nam.
Sơn also urged the Belgian Federal Parliament to soon ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to maximise the potential of cooperation between the two countries in the field of investment; and push for the European Commission (EC)’s early removal of the “yellow card” on Việt Nam.
|Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn (left) and Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions Hadja Lahbib had talks. — VNA/VNS Photo Hương Giang
Holding talks with Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions Hadja Lahbib, the Vietnamese minister affirmed that Việt Nam always treasures relations with Belgium – an important partner in the EU, and wishes to further promote Việt Nam-Belgium relations, especially the strategic partnership on agriculture.
Sơn appreciated Belgium’s active role as the rotating President of the Council of the EU in the first six months of 2024, asking for Belgium’s coordination to promote EU-Việt Nam relations, and affirmed Việt Nam’s readiness to connect Belgium with ASEAN and Southeast Asian countries.
He urged Belgium to early ratify the EVIPA and push for the early removal of the EC’s yellow card on Việt Nam’s aquatic goods to further facilitate Việt Nam-Belgium investment and trade ties.
Lahbib affirmed that agriculture is a pillar in the two countries’ cooperation, adding that Belgium is considering building an agricultural cooperation programme between Việt Nam and Belgian regions.
Belgium can support Việt Nam in developing circular agricultural models, smart agriculture, and responding to climate change, she said.
The minister also called on the Vietnamese Government to create favourable conditions for Belgian businesses to expand investment and business in Việt Nam, especially in high-tech and energy transition industries.
The two ministers agreed to continue promoting contacts and exchange of delegations between the two sides, especially senior leaders on State, Government and NA channels.
Assessing economic cooperation as an important pillar in Việt Nam-Belgium relations, the two ministers welcomed businesses from both sides to promote cooperation in new fields such as high technology, semiconductor chips, and energy transition, hoping that the two countries will make good use of the opportunities that the EVFTA brings.
The two ministers agreed to have cooperation projects to implement the Belgian lower house’s resolution on supporting Việt Nam in overcoming war consequences, especially detoxifying areas affected by AO and supporting AO victims.
The two sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, affirming to continue to coordinate closely and support each other at multilateral organisations and forums, especially the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and promote the ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership framework. — VNS
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