PM Phan Van Khai meets with Chinese, Japanese & Korean leaders

Nov. 25 (VNA) -- Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and leaders of other ASEAN countries met with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Kim Dae- Jung in Singapore on Nov. 25.

PM Khai is head of the Vietnamese delegation to the fourth ASEAN informal summit in Singapore.

During these meetings, PM Khai expressed his delight at further development of the relations between Eastern Asian countries, saying that the development of such relations has important significance both at present and in the future. He affirmed that Viet Nam would do its best to contribute to developing the neighbourly friendship and cooperation between the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China. He said he believed that with both sides' determination, their relations would be certainly strengthened for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

He held that Viet Nam has effectively fulfilled its role as coordinator of the ASEAN-Japan relationship. He said he hoped that Japan would actively help carry out the Ha Noi Plan of Action which is aimed at narrowing the development gap, developing human resources, information technology and poverty reduction, particularly the development of the Mekong River basin and the East-West Corridor.

The Vietnamese PM expressed his support for the settlement of issues on the Korean peninsula by peaceful means through dialogue and for the Korean people's aspiration of peaceful national unification. He welcomed the RoK's efforts in strengthening and promoting its cooperation with the ASEAN and asked the RoK to actively support and participate in the implementation of the Ha Noi Plan of Action, especially the ASEAN's current priority programmes.

PM Khai also met on separate occasions with Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, RoK President Kim Dae-Jung, Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.

During these meetings, they informed each other of the situation in their respective countries, and discussed measures to further promote bilateral political, economic, trade and investment ties as well as their cooperation at regional and world multilateral forums, especially cooperation within the framework of ASEAN and between ASEAN and the three Northeast Asian countries.

PM Khai expressed his pleasure at the new development of friendship and cooperation between Viet Nam and those countries and developments in the relations between the ASEAN countries and the Northeast Asian countries. He affirmed that Viet Nam in its capacity as President of the ASEAN Standing Committee and the ASEAN Regional Forum will spare no effort to boost effective cooperation among ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and China, Japan and RoK.

The leaders of Thailand, China, Japan and RoK conveyed their condolences to Vietnamese leaders on the losses in lives and property caused by recent floods in Mekong delta provinces.

They highly valued the achievements recorded by the Vietnamese people in national renovation, industrialization and modernization and, welcomed Viet Nam's contributions to strengthening cooperation among ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and the Northeast Asian countries in its capacity as ASEAN President. They pledged to accelerate cooperation with ASEAN countries, assist ASEAN countries in pushing up the implementation of the Ha Noi Plan of Action, and support the new ASEAN member countries to narrow the development gap and carry out hunger and poverty eradication programme, as well as the implementation of ASEAN-framework projects on the development of the Mekong sub-region and East-West Corridor.

At a press briefing on the same day, Singapore PM Goh Chok Tong, Chairman of the session, spoke of the ASEAN's priority in narrowing the development gap by giving assistance to the four new member countries: Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.--VNA