October 14, 2008

Vietnamese, Greek Presidents Discuss Measures to Boost Cooperation

Text of report in English by state-run Vietnamese news agency VNA website

[Unattributed article from the "Politics" page: "Vietnam, Greece boost cooperative ties"]

Hanoi (VNA) -Vietnam and Greece signed a series of agreements to boost diplomatic and investment ties on October 13 during the Greek President Karolos Papoulias' visit to the Southeast Asian country.

State President Nguyen Minh Triet and his Greek counterpart who is on a week-long visit to Vietnam, witnessed the signing of an investment promotion and protection agreement between the two governments, an energy cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Greek Ministry for Development, and a memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier the same day, President Triet held talks with President Papoulias, discussing bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The two leaders agreed that as trade and investment ties between the two countries remain modest, they should do more to develop bilateral economic ties in the future.

They discussed possibilities for cooperation in areas where the two countries have the potential and needs including shipping, shipbuilding, tourism, agriculture and the conservation of historical relics.

The Vietnamese president proposed that Greece support Vietnam's bid to increase trade relations with the European Union (EU) and stand as a candidate for the UNESCO's 35th Executive Council, as well as cooperating with Vietnam within the framework of the Asia- Europe Meeting.

The host informed his guest of Vietnam's wish to open an embassy in the Greek capital of Athens .

President Papoulias said Greece is willing to become a gateway for Vietnam's products to enter Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea areas.

He affirmed that Greece attaches great importance to Vietnam's position and role, both regionally and globally, and agreed to increase its cooperation and coordination with Vietnam at the United Nations Security Council as well as through regional and international forums.

Papoulias, the first Greek president to visit Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1975, lauded Vietnam's intention to open an embassy in Athens and affirmed Greece's support for Vietnam to increase its trade relations with the EU.

He also said the agreements reached during his visit to Vietnam and the visit to Greece by President Triet in June, 2008 would raise the level of friendly and cooperative ties between the two countries in the future.

The Greek President praised the Vietnamese people for their struggle for independence and their achievements in national construction and development.

On the evening of October 13, President Triet and his wife will host a banquet in honour of President Papoulias, his wife and entourage.

Originally published by VNA news agency website, Hanoi, in English 13 Oct 08.

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