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40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam

February 25, 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Vietnam, describing it as “a significant milestone in our ties with one of our most important regional partners”.

“Forty years ago today, then Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gough Whitlam, announced that Australia and the then Democratic Republic of Vietnam had agreed to establish diplomatic relations,” Senator Carr said.

“This was a historic moment for the newly elected Labor Government, and it paved the way for the comprehensive and cooperative relationship we have today.”

Senator Carr said the bilateral relationship between Australia and Vietnam is mature and diverse encompassing dialogue and cooperation on a wide front.

“Vietnam is emerging as one of Australia’s most important partners in the Asia Pacific. Our relationship encompasses political exchanges, trade and investment, development assistance, education, defence and cooperation to counter transnational crime.”

“We have an established history of bilateral human rights cooperation, which we value, including nine rounds of the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue since 2002.”

“The signing in 2009 of the Australia-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership was a significant development, paving the way for deeper and more wide-ranging relations.”

Australia will celebrate the 40th anniversary throughout 2013 with a program of cultural and education events that will bring to the Socialist Democratic Republic of Vietnam some of Australia’s most innovative and creative contemporary arts.

“With activities ranging from dance, music and visual arts to food, science and sport, the program stands as testament to the diversity of our relationship and will create opportunities for future exchange,” Senator Carr said.

Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will open the celebrations with performances in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Other highlights include Questacon’s interactive science and education showcase, performances by jazz ensemble, Elixir, and the visual arts exhibition, Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia.

The program is being coordinated by the Australia International Cultural Council, under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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