The Philippines and Vietnam have renewed commitment to strengthen their strategic alliance as the two countries celebrated 45 years of diplomatic ties this year.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made the statement following the meeting between Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo Montealegre and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc this week.
According to the DFA, Montealegre paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Phúc on March 17 in Hanoi, Vietnam to discuss the enhancement of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Vietnam.
Phúc told the Filipino envoy that Vietnam always attached importance to the strategic partnership with the Philippines, in which maritime cooperation has an important role to play.
Both the Philippines and Vietnam are claiming portions of the disputed South China Sea. In 2018, Malacañang said Prime Minister Phúc praised President Duterte on the way he handled the issue.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phúc said celebrating the 45th anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic ties this year served as an occasion for both countries to intensify cooperation in various areas identified.
COVID-19 success and other accomplishments
During their meeting, Ambassador Montealegre congratulated Vietnam on its effective response to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Vietnam has been successful in addressing the pandemic with only 2,570 cases from January 3, 2020 to March 19, 2021, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The country has only registered 35 deaths during the course of the crisis.
Montealegre also extended President Duterte’s well-wishes for Prime Minister Phúc’s reelection to the Politburo, the political bureau of the Central Committee Communist Party of Vietnam.
The President also congratulated Vietnam on its non-permanent membership in the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and the fruitful conclusion of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Duterte likewise congratulated Phúc for Vietnam’s successful chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2020 despite it being virtual due to the pandemic.