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India has right to explore oil in Vietnam EEZ in South China

The two countries, which held their 15th Joint Commission Meeting here, also inked an agreement for a 19.5 million dollar Line of Credit India will give to Vietnam

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Notwithstanding China's objections to Indian projects, Vietnam today asserted has the right to pursue 'exploration and exploitation work' in South Sea as they were within Vietnamese 'exclusive economic zone'.

The two countries, which held their 15th Joint Commission Meeting here, also inked an agreement for a 19.5 million dollar Line of Credit will give to Vietnam.

After the meeting with his Indian counterpart during which crucial bilateral and regional issues were discussed, Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, said both sides discussed the South and East Seas, agreeing that UN on freedom of navigation in high seas need to be respected.

'Our position is that we need to respect the of UNCLOS to solve the issues in the South Sea peacefully', the Vietnam minister said in a joint press conference here.

He said both sides have also reaffirmed that all the countries bordering the South and East China Sea have rights to their exclusive economic zones and that can pursue 'exploration and exploitation work in the exclusive economic zone of Vietnam'.

The remarks came in the backdrop of continued Chinese objections over projects undertaken by India in Vietnamese oil blocks. China has been claiming territorial sovereignty over South China Sea, a claim contested by its neighbours including Vietnam.

'India-Vietnam security and defence cooperation is robust and growing, based on shared interests and a convergence in our security perceptions,' Khurshid said.

He said India has indicated any contentious issue 'should be settled in a peaceful manner, through dialogue'. PTI SAP

He has invited the Vietnamese Defence Minister to India later this year before the visit of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

India and Vietnam also signed a USD 19.5 million Line of Credit for setting up Nam Trai-IV hydropower project and Binh Bo Pumping station.

He said both sides agreed to consolidate bilateral activities and add greater content to the partnership and bilateral relations in the fields of defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology, information technology, capacity-building and human resource development, agriculture, education, culture and other areas of common interest.

First Published: Thu, July 11 2013. 17:10 IST
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