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PBBM looks forward to signing maritime agreement with Vietnam

PH and Vietnam

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is looking forward to signing an agreement with Vietnam in a bid to strengthen maritime cooperation in the West Philippine Sea.

Speaking to outgoing Vietnam Ambassador to the Philippines Hoang Huy Chung, President Marcos underscored the importance of maritime cooperation between the two countries.

“Now that we are going to start discussions on the agreement that we have between the Philippines and Vietnam, I think it is a very, very important – it will be a very, very important part of our relationship and it will bring an element of stability to the problems that we are seeing now in the South China Sea,” the President said.

President Marcos said that the agreement “is going to be a very big step” between the Philippines and Vietnam.

Chung paid a farewell call to President Marcos on Thursday, a few years after he was installed Ambassador of Vietnam to the Philippines on Jun 19, 2020. He also served as the deputy director general of the Department of Maritime Affairs from 2017 to 2019, among other posts.

President Marcos thanked the ambassador for his hard work as he emphasized that the agreement between the Philippines and Vietnam was realized during his stint.

For his part, Chung said he wanted to stay longer to build up stronger and closer relations with the Philippine government as he emphasized that the country considered Vietnam as one of its strategic partners.

The ambassador said Vietnam President Vo Van Thuong extended his gratitude to President Marcos and the Philippine government for working closely with them, especially on their common interest in the West Philippine Sea and the prevention of further incidents in the Philippine waters.

“And President, Vietnam, we have very respect for your thought that you are a friend to all, none enemy,” Chung told President Marcos.

President Marcos affirmed that the Philippines and Vietnam have a good solid agreement that is beneficial for both counties, making it easier for them to face the “common challenges” “when it comes to territorial disputes in the South China Sea.”

“I really believe that we have to make these bilateral agreements. I think you will not be surprised and I think I’m not giving away any confidence that we will like to have these bilateral agreements as well with the other countries within ASEAN,” President Marcos said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The chief executive also expressed his appreciation to Vietnam’s good relationship with the Philippines, which dated back since the administration of his father, late president Ferdinand R. Marcos Sr.

Marcos said the sentiments remain the same that the Philippines has always been a benevolent and compassionate partner of its neighbors in Asia specially in the agricultural, diplomatic, security and defense situations. | PND

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