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      Israel Asks Vietnamese Minister: Don’t Side with PA

      Deputy Foreign Minister meets Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications, on first official Vietnamese visit to Israel in 12 years.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 6/20/2011, 6:47 PM / Last Update: 6/20/2011, 7:45 PM

      Barak Fechter, MFA

      Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon met Sunday with Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Ho, in Jerusalem. This is the first official visit of a Vietnamese minister in Israel for 12 years.

      During the meeting, Ayalon reviewed the recent changes in the region, the political challenges and the dangers inherent in the ‘day after’ scenario in the event of a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinian Authority in September.

      Relating to the intended move by the Palestinians, Ayalon stated: “I hope that the Vietnamese government will weigh the situation with great consideration, and will not support the unilateral Palestinian move but instead join the other responsible countries that make up the ‘moral majority.’”

      The Vietnamese minister expressed his understanding of the Israeli position, and agreed that the preferred method of solving the conflict was by direct negotiations between the parties.  

      Ayalon also explored methods of increasing the bilateral relationship between the countries in the areas of trade, communications, agriculture, Israel government aid and security. Ayalon suggested the establishment of a bilateral committee with the aim of developing a long-term plan for cooperation, and added: “Cooperation between Israel and Vietnam can form the basis for cooperation with other countries.”

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that members of the Vietnamese delegation expressed “much interest” in the promotion of bilateral cooperation.