Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold Virtual Summit with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday, December 21, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has announced. This will be the first such virtual summit of PM Modi with an ASEAN country. Vietnam is the chair of the ASEAN grouping this year and in the recent years, there have been a high number of engagements and visits between the two countries.

During the Summit, the two leaders will exchange views on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and global issues and provide guidance for the future development of India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind had visited the country in 2018 and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in 2019. President of Vietnam Tran Dai and PM Phuc both were in India in 2018.

During the 2016 visit of PM Modi, ties between India and Vietnam were elevated to “comprehensive strategic partnership”, a status Vietnam shares with only two other countries — Russia and China. Vietnam’s envoy to India, Pham Sanh Chau said, “India is a very important country, it is going to be the global partner for ASEAN and as a global player India will assume responsibility in many fields. So, we need to strengthen further cooperation that has been in existence between ASEAN and India, also between India and Vietnam.”

Also read: India rejects reports of UN vehicle being targeted across LoC

In 2020 as well, both countries have continued high-level exchanges and constant communication. Vice-President of Vietnam Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh came to India in February this year on an official visit. The Prime Ministers of both countries, had a telephone conversation on 13th April this year to discuss the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17th edition of the Joint Commission Meeting, was virtually co-chaired by the two Foreign Ministers was held in August 2020. The Defence Minister held an online meeting with his counterpart on 27th of last month.

Also read: Ahead of party’s internal elections, Cong prez Sonia Gandhi to meet rebel leaders today