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India, Vietnam for access to South China Sea

President Pranab Mukherjee with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang before their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: KHAM

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jingping’s visit to India, India and Vietnam have called for freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea.

In a joint communique issued after President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a four-day State visit to Vietnam, held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang here, the two countries said the freedom of navigation in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded. Without naming any country, they called on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means.

The two sides called for collective commitment of the parties concerned to abide by and implement the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and to work towards the adoption of a Code of Conduct on the basis of consensus.

On Monday, India and Vietnam signed seven agreements, including one for enhanced cooperation in the oil sector.

The two countries also signed an MoU on operating and jointly promoting direct air services under which Vietnam Airlines and India’s Jet Airways will operate flights. Both countries decided to strengthen bilateral cooperation with a focus on political, defence and security cooperation, economic cooperation, science and technology, culture and people-to-people links, technical cooperation and multilateral and regional cooperation.

The pacts include EXIM Bank of India’s extension of a dollar credit line to Vietnam, agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 5:48:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-vietnam-ink-seven-agreements/article6412345.ece

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