Dutch PM shares deep concerns over East Sea tensions

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Dutch PM shares deep concerns over East Sea tensions

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte (R) talks to Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on June 16

HCMC - Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte expressed deep concerns over the current East Sea situation at his meeting with Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on June 16.

The Dutch Prime Minister assured that his nation supported the European Union’s statement and the declaration of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers that all parties concerned need to practice restraint and settle disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law.

Rutte on June 16 began a two-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of PM Nguyen Tan Dung with an aim to further strengthen diplomatic and economic relations between the Netherlands and Vietnam.

At their talks, Dung briefed Rutte on China’s illegal placement of its giant Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

The Government leader of Vietnam stressed that China’s acts are in serious violation of international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to which China is a signatory.

The Government portal chinhphu.vn quoted Dung as saying that China’s wrongful acts are posing a direct threat to peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.

Following the talks, the two leaders signed a strategic partnership agreement on sustainable agriculture and food security. They also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a liquefied gas import cooperation project in Vietnam and a framework contract on trading liquefied natural gas of Thi Vai seaport project between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Shell Group of the Netherlands.

Vietnam and the Netherlands also released a joint statement on the outcome of the Vietnam visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The joint statement says the leaders have given the nod to establishing the Strategic Partnership on Agriculture and Food Security. The two sides have agreed to continue to enhance cooperative ties for the benefits of their peoples, especially in climate change and water resource management, agriculture, energy, marine economy and logistics services.

Both sides highly valued cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands in multilateral forums and international organizations and committed to continue coordination and mutual support in the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEAN-EU cooperation.

The Netherlands strongly supports the swift conclusion of the free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam (EVFTA). This will also create opportunities for economic growth in Vietnam and the Netherlands in sectors such as agriculture, services and investment.

The EVFTA will complement the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that is currently being ratified by EU member states and strengthen political and economic relations between the EU and Vietnam. The long-term objective remains a regional EU-ASEAN agreement.

The two sides have stressed the importance of peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, and full respect of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the finalization of a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Rutte also met with State President Truong Tan Sang and National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung on the same day.

Duy Linh (thesaigontimes.vn)