New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) As part of New Delhi’s continued enhancement of ties with southeast Asia under the Act East Policy, India and Vietnam on Tuesday reviewed their entire gamut of bilateral ties, including maritime security and counter-terrorism cooperation, during 10th Foreign Office Consultations and 7th Strategic Dialogue.
According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, during the talks held on Monday, the two sides held deliberations on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political and security, trade and investment, pharmaceuticals, energy, agriculture, connectivity, lines of credit and other capacity building projects in Vietnam and people-to-people ties.
While the Indian side was led by Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) at the Ministry of External Affairs, the Vietnamese side was headed by Dang Dinh Quy, the country’s Vice Foreign Minister.
Vietnam will be handing over its role as the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc to Thailand in the middle of this year.
“During the Strategic Dialogue, both sides exchanged views on issues of mutual interest at regional and multilateral levels, including cooperation at UN and other international organisations,” the statement said.
“Both sides also discussed maritime security, counter-terrorism cooperation, developments in their respective regions etc.”
The statement also said that the Vietnamese side reaffirmed its support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.
With Vietnam being an important regional partner in southeast Asia, India and it closely cooperate in various regional forums such as Asean, East Asia Summit, Mekong Ganga Cooperation, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), besides the UN and WTO.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in 2016, the bilateral relationship was elevated from a Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Defence cooperation has emerged as a significant pillar of this partnership and Indian ships regularly make friendly port calls to Vietnam.
India is also an important development aid partner of Vietnam and has extended several lines of credit on concessional terms and conditions since 1976.
Vietnamese nationals are among the largest recipients of scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme.
Following Tuesday’s talks, Vice Foreign Minister Quy called on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here.
The two leaders discussed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Vietnam and the plan of action to further expand this relationship, according to a tweet posted by External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
These talks come after the visit of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to India last month.
At the Republic Day celebrations this year, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was among the leaders of the 10 Asean member states to attend collectively as chief guests.