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Feb 20, 2019 / 16:48

Vietnam foreign minister visits Germany to mend ties

Currently, Germany tops Vietnam’s importers in the European Union.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on February 20 started a two-day visit to Germany as the two nations seek to normalize ties after recent tensions.

The visit is made at the invitation of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on its website, giving no details.
 
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VTV
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VTV
In August 2017, Germany blamed Vietnam for “kidnapping” Trinh Xuan Thanh, former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation, in German land but, a MOFA spokesperson said Vietnam regretted the accusation, saying that Thanh had “turned himself in” to Vietnamese police in late July 2017 after a 10-month international hunt.

In November 2018, the MOFA’s Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son visited Germany at the invitation of the German State Secretary Andreas Michaelis. State media reported that the two senior diplomats discussed different measures relating to partnership in trade, investment, and culture. 

German Ambassador to Vietnam Christian Berger told VnExpress that the meeting between Son and Michaelis aimed to discuss specific measures to enhance the bilateral relations. 

Vietnam and Germany upgraded bilateral ties to strategic partnership in 2011.