Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong has pledged his country's sustained co-operation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
SV Presidential Palace, Manila; Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong speaking in Vietnamese. (English translation starts at 7 ft/2.1mtrs/11 secs.) (3 shots)
DONG: "We, Vietnam and all the countries of ASEAN will strengthen our friendship and co-operation." "And this has a positive significance and effect." "And we and these countries will continue strengthening our relations of friendship and co-operation." "And, I think that if everyone is conscious of doing everything by every means to strengthen the strength of the countries in this region, then the position for co-operation will be still more favourable." "As far as we're concerned, we have fledged to do our utmost at present, and in the future shall do our utmost to join our efforts with other countries in the region to turn this region into a region of peace, independence, freedom, and neutrality."
During Mr. Dong's stay, the Philippines granted temporary sanctuary to 185 Vietnamese refugees who were rescued from the South China Sea by a British Cargo boat. Mr. Dong said he regretted that refugees from Vietnam were causing problems to neighbouring countries. They seemed unable to adjust to the new regime, but would be welcomed back with open arms should they change their mind. mr. Dong left for Indonesia on Wednesday (20 September) on the third leg of his bridge-building tour with the five countries of ASEAN. He had visited Thailand earlier in the month. There has been speculation that Vietnam might be interested in joining ASEAN to boost its post-war economy, but Philippine Industry Minister Vicente Paterno said that "the way of ASEAN is private enterprise and investment, so it may be a long, long way before Vietnam can join."
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Background: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong has pledged his country's sustained co-operation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Speaking in Manila on Tuesday (19 September), he said his visit was a chance to build lasting and friendly ties with the Philippines. President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, hailed the visit as a breakthrough in relations between Vietnam and its non-communist neighbour. Only three years ago, Vietnam and Cambodia condemned the Philippines as 'the forward base of American imperialism.'
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Dong held a press conference at the MalacaÂ¤ang Palace in Manila, and spoke about the Vietnamese hope for peace in Southeast Asia.