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Greece and Vietnam vow to strengthen bilateral relations

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Greece’s Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias visited Vietnam on Monday where he met with the Southeast Asian nation’s President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Upon arriving in Hanoi, Foreign Minister Dendias met with his Vietnamese counterpart, Bui Thanh Son, discussing bilateral and economic relations, as well as a series of collaborations in education and sport.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Dendias said: “I consider that Vietnam, a country of 100 million inhabitants, with a rising economy of almost 400 billion, is an interesting conversationalist for Greece in the Southeast Asian region.”

Foreign Minister Dendias also announced that Greece will erect a bust honouring Ho Chi Minh in the city of Edessa in northern Greece.

“Let me tell you a little-known fact about our two countries. President Ho Chi Minh, the founder of Vietnam, fought on the Macedonian Front from 1916 to 1917 while serving in the French army,” he told reporters.

“We therefore agreed that a bust of him should be erected in Edessa to highlight this fact.”

Dendias then attended a special ceremony in the Vietnamese capital where he delivered a 50,000 euro donation on behalf of Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in support of the nation’s Olympic program for young athletes.

Speaking alongside Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Toursim, Hoang Dao Cuong, Dendias said the donation not only seeks to help disadvantaged young athletes, but promotes the “Olympic Spirit”.

“The Olympic Games, which were organised for the first time 2,800 years ago in my country, Greece, are the ultimate symbol of universality, of peaceful coexistence among all peoples – in an environment without differences and inequalities,” he said.

Dendias was then received by Vietnam’s President, Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister, the pair held “constructive talks” and discussed their shared commitment to the United Nation’s Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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