Germany aims to reset ties with Vietnam after kidnapping case

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday he would use a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart to discuss resetting ties between the two countries after past differences over the kidnapping of a Vietnamese businessman in Berlin. Maas said Vietnam was a key partner for Germany in Southeast Asia, and lauded Hanoi for making important progress in opening its economy and enacting other reforms in recent years. Germany is Vietnam's leading trading partner in Europe.

Reuters February 21, 2019 04:05:38 IST
Germany aims to reset ties with Vietnam after kidnapping case

Germany aims to reset ties with Vietnam after kidnapping case

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday he would use a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart to discuss resetting ties between the two countries after past differences over the kidnapping of a Vietnamese businessman in Berlin.

Maas said Vietnam was a key partner for Germany in Southeast Asia, and lauded Hanoi for making important progress in opening its economy and enacting other reforms in recent years. Germany is Vietnam's leading trading partner in Europe.

"In the past there were noticeable differences between Germany and Vietnam, above all over the kidnapping of the Vietnamese citizen Trinh Xuan Thanh in Berlin," he said in a statement. "Today we want to reach agreement about resetting the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Germany and filling it with new substance."

Ties between the two countries soured in 2017 after Germany accused Vietnam of breaching international law by kidnapping businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh, who had sought asylum in Germany, from a Berlin street and taking him back to Vietnam, where he was tried and jailed for life.

A German court in July sentenced a Vietnamese man to three years and 10 months in jail after he confessed to helping his country's secret services kidnap Thanh.

In a statement issued before his meeting in Berlin with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Maas underscored the importance of human rights and common values in any strategic partnership. The two officials did not hold a news conference.

"Vietnam, like Germany, is committed to multilateralism and free trade. It has taken on increasing global responsibility and is engaged in climate protection," Maas said. "These are all areas in which Germany and Vietnam can work together more closely in the future."

Maas also said Germany supported a rapid agreement on a free trade agreement between the European Union and Vietnam.

The two countries began diplomatic relations in 1975 and elevated their ties to a strategic partnership in 2011.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal in Berlin; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.