Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s success in the fight against the pandemic, Di Maio thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for providing valuable support for Italy in difficult times, saying that it is an act of friendship and solidarity between the two nations.

Minh, for his part, affirmed that Vietnam will continue partnering with Italy and the international community in the fight against the pandemic.

He thanked Italy for creating favourable conditions for the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens during the pandemic, and wished that the two Governments would continue working closely together to support their citizens in the time ahead.

Both sides also highlighted the significance of the bilateral strategic partnership and agreed to facilitate all-level visits when the situation returns to normal.

They vowed to strengthen consultation and coordination mechanisms to effectively direct the bilateral cooperation in the new period, tap the potential of partnership in fields of demand such as economy, trade, science-technology, and culture-education.

Minh suggested that Italy continue backing ties between Vietnam and the European Union (EU), particularly tapping the benefits brought about by the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement in the near future.

The two sides pledged to continue working closely together on international issues and step up links between ASEAN and Italy during 2020 when Vietnam serves as Chair of the ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020 - 2021 tenure.

Deputy PM Minh also invited Di Maio to pay an official visit to Vietnam. The Italian diplomat accepted the invitation with pleasure./.

CPV/VNA