Vietnam attends 33rd ASEAN-US Dialogue

Update: 19:00 | 05/08/2020
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of Vietnam's ASEAN SOM, attended the 33rd ASEAN-US Dialogue, which was held via video conference on August 5 to discuss cooperation orientations between the two sides in the coming time and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung speaks at the event. (Photo: Tuan Anh

David Stilwell, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the US always attaches great importance to relations with ASEAN and supports the bloc’s central role in the regional architecture. The US also highly evaluated Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair 2020 in coordinating and leading ASEAN to overcome difficulties and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides agreed to further deepen the bilateral strategic partnership and cooperation in the coming time, as well as implement effectively current cooperation programs and initiatives such as ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework, ASEAN-US Connect Initiative, ASEAN-US Smart Cities Partnership, and Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

ASEAN agreed to strengthen coordination with the US to implement the ASEAN-US action plan for 2016-2020 and soon adopt the bilateral cooperation action plan for 2021-2025.

The two sides pledged to actively work together to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, especially enhancing preparedness to cope with new waves of infections, supporting each other to minimize the impact of the disease, maintaining regional and global supply chains, and promoting sustainable recovery.

The US announced that it has provided about 87 million USD for ASEAN countries to cope with the pandemic, and affirmed its continued assistance to the regional countries to improve their capacity to respond to diseases, with the priority given to the implementation of the ASEAN-US Health Futures Initiative, training health experts and building pandemic control mechanisms.

ASEAN welcomed the US’s timely financial assistance in curbing the pandemic and called on the US to actively support and contribute to ASEAN's initiatives on the COVID-19 Response Fund and Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies.

The US applauded ASEAN's efforts to promote its role in stepping up cooperation, dialogue and trust-building in the region, as well as advocated the bloc's endeavors to implement fully and strictly the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and build an effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed that amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, ASEAN has upheld its “Cohesive and Responsive” spirit and promoted solidarity, unity and efforts to overcome difficulties and challenges.

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The Vietnamese official highly appreciated the US's timely assistance to ASEAN in coping with the epidemic right from the beginning of the outbreak.

He proposed the US continue supporting ASEAN to improve its capacity to cope with, reduce the impact of the disease, and promote sustainable economic recovery.

ASEAN welcomed and was willing to create optimal conditions for US businesses and investors to operate in the region, Dung affirmed.

He applauded the US proposal on building the Mekong-US Partnership, supporting the promotion and harmonization of subregional development efforts, including the Mekong subregion in the overall development of ASEAN.

The Deputy Minister shared the views of other countries that in the current context, countries need to promote dialogues, build trust and hold responsible for building the East Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

He reiterated ASEAN's stance at the 36th ASEAN Summit on ensuring peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of aviation and navigation in the East Sea. The related parties should refrain from taking actions that complicate the situation and not carry out militarisation activities, Dung said.

Any disputes should be resolved via peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, while continuing to implement fully and effectively the DOC and soon resuming negotiations to complete an effective COC, contributing to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the East Sea, he added.

The official also announced plans to hold ministerial meetings and summits between ASEAN and the US as part of Vietnam's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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(Source: VNA)