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External affairs sector holds party congress

(VNA)- State President Tran Duc Luong has praised the external affair sector, especially its Party organisation, for remarkable achievements in many fields.

The State leader, who is also a Politburo member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, made the statement at a Party congress of the external affair sector, which opened in Ha Noi on Dec. 28.

The congress was also attended by Phan Dien, Politburo member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee and a permanent member of its Secretariat, and Vu Khoan, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Vice Prime Minister.

President Luong said the external affairs sector has over the past five years fulfilled its tasks regarding the overseas Vietnamese community, peace, solidarity, friendship and relations with foreign non-governmental organisations.

"The sector's staff have also tried their best to boost mass media for foreign readers, closely coordinated with other sectors on the issues of democracy, human rights and religion, and contributed considerably to tactically settling complicated and sensitive issues on external relations.

The State President emphasised the importance of the five-year review of external affairs, focusing on five major areas:

Firstly, the bearing of external affairs, Viet Nam has changed policies on partners and targets from hard-line to flexible principles.

Secondly, initiatives. Operations on external relations have so far aimed to balance domestic goals with promotion of the nation's international prestige and taken a proactive stance in regional and international forums, rather than simply protecting the nation's legitimate rights.

Thirdly, the improvement of bilateral relations with neighbours, powers and traditional friends. A remarkable change here is the upgrade in relations with powerful countries and different regimes in the world from the normalising stage to a stable, lasting and profound term, in the interests of both sides.

Fourthly, closely combining diplomatic services with economic and cultural programmes and with security and national defence goals. External relations have served the cause of national industrialisation and modernisation and helped speed up the process of integration into global economy.

Fifthly, working for a comprehensive diplomacy in all aspects of external affairs of the State, the Party and the political system as well as people's diplomacy.

President Luong concluded his speech by calling on the Executive Committee of the Party organisation of the external affairs sector to work out a concrete programme of action for the 2006-10 term.

Nguyen Van Son, member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee, Chairman of its Central Committee's Commission for External Affairs, and Secretary of the Commission's Party Committee, delivered a report at the congress.

He said that in the past term, as the international situation is advancing rapidly, the sector's Party organisation has exerted itself to play a core political leadership role, to conduct the work of researching, consulting and proposing policies to the Party Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Secretariat, and to contribute to designing important resolutions.

The sector for external affairs has made important contributions to enacting foreign policies and strengthening and expanding friendly and cooperative relations with neighbouring and regional countries. It helps to design and develop long-term relations with almost all of the big countries and important partners, and preserve and push up relations with traditional friends and developing countries. It also actively takes part in multilateral diplomatic activities.

The sector for external affairs has made great efforts in diplomatic work for economic development. It helps reinforce relations with communist and labour parties, progressive revolutionary forces and political and ruling parties and maintain and develop international solidarity with and support to Viet Nam.

The sector has mobilised and united overseas Vietnamese to join hands in construction of the homeland, actively participated in disseminating information for foreign service, combating incorrect opinions and actions that hide under the mask of democracy, human rights, religions to cause instability and to interfere in Viet Nam's internal affairs.

The congress set general tasks for the sector in the 2005-2010 term in order to improve the efficiency of its work, develop external relations and continue the country's foreign policies of independence, self-confidence, peace, cooperation, development, openness, multilateralisation and diversification./.

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