Aquino hopes for stronger Philippines-Vietnam relations

October 27, 2011 9:52 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 27 — President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed hope that the visit of President Truong Tan Sang of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Philippines will help deepen the friendly, economic, trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.

In a message during the State Dinner he hosted in honor of the visiting Vietnamese leader Wednesday night, President Aquino said President Sang’s presence in the Philippines proves a positive growth in the relationship between the two countries.

Despite maintaining different alignments with superpowers during the Cold War, the President said things have changed after 35 years with the Philippines and Vietnam having strong bilateral relations.

“Today we find ourselves allies with strengthened political, economic and security ties forged in a common interest with peace and prosperity,” the President said.

The Philippines is proud to stand besides Vietnam in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the President said, adding that the strengthening of ties between the two countries has been a source of great satisfaction.

“Together we have embarked in developing a shared approach to addressing the many challenges that confront our respective nations. The future can only see us grow even closer,” he said.

With the growing ASEAN as a regional bloc, the President said, he hopes that the ASEAN member countries enjoy peace and prosperity and cooperation between them.

“And with the deepening friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and Vietnam may we continue to stand together out of our shared commitment for our respective national sovereignties and to the mutual respect and concern that is the firmest foundation of the bright future for which we all aspire,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, the Philippines and Vietnam signed four bilateral agreements aimed at further enhancing cooperation in naval, coast guard and tourism as well as an agreement on a collaborative blueprint of specific bilateral projects to be undertaken until 2016. (PNA)

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