Australian top lawmaker hails ties with Vietnam

The Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Henry Jenkins, has applauded bilateral relations between Australia and Vietnam, as well as between their legislative bodies during a meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Hoang Vinh Thanh in Canberra.

The Speaker said on May 27 that the Australian Parliament welcomes visits by Vietnamese legislators to exchange opinions and accumulate experience in making laws, holding elections and how to fulfill responsibilities toward their voters. 

The annual human rights dialogue mechanism between the two countries’ Ministries for Foreign Affairs has been conducted effectively, the Speaker added. He also spoke highly of Vietnam’s openness and friendliness in creating favourable conditions for Australian war veterans to visit the country. 

For his part, Ambassador Thanh said the two parliaments have coordinated effectively, thereby strengthening the Vietnam-Australia comprehensive partnership. Vietnam always respects and protects human rights, as well as observes the United Nations conventions on human rights, the ambassador said. 

He thanked the Government of Australia for its effective official assistance development (ODA), which has helped Vietnam achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The diplomat expressed his hope that the Australian Government will facilitate the granting of visas to Vietnamese students to study in the country and that the two nations will soon reach agreement on short-term labour programmes. 

Australian statistics show that approximately 250,000 Vietnamese people are living in Australia, making up more than 1 percent of its total population, of whom 188,000 were born in Vietnam. Australia has emerged as a popular destination for Vietnamese students. In 2009 alone, more than 24,000 Vietnamese students pursued courses in this country. -VNN