President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has accepted a personal invitation from Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet to visit Hanoi in October.
The Philippine mission to the United Nations said on Wednesday Nguyen extended the invitation to Aquino when they met at the 65th United Nations general Assembly in New York.
“We value Vietnam as a good friend and strategic partner. We are confident that these ties will only become stronger. I look forward to the continuation of the excellent bilateral relations that our two countries share in diverse areas of interest,” Aquino told the Vietnamese leader, according to a statement on the Philippine Mission website Wednesday.
The Philippine mission said Nguyen personally reiterated the invitation of the Vietnamese government to Aquino during their meeting.
“In inviting President Aquino, President Nguyen said he looks forward to President Aquino’s visit to Vietnam in October 2010,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said.
Romulo and Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Libran Cabactulan were with Aquino during a bilateral meeting on Tuesday afternoon (New York time).
“The meeting went well and because of the very meaningful exchange during this first encounter between the two leaders, I expect President Aquino’s visit to Vietnam in October to be meaningful and successful,” Romulo added.
The Philippines and Vietnam are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Vietnam is currently the chair of Asean.
Four agreements to be signed
The Philippine Mission said at least four agreements will be signed during Aquino’s visit to Vietnam.
It said these pacts will “institutionalise bilateral cooperation in the areas of higher education, defense, and maritime affairs.”
The Philippines and Vietnam will celebrate 35 years of diplomatic relations in 2011. In 2008, the two countries achieved their target of $2 billion worth of bilateral trade.
“We can achieve more, which should be a key agenda in our relations in the next few years,” Aquino added. –VVP, GMANews.TV