Vietnam to share intel on drug trade

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The Vietnamese government has agreed to share intelligence information with the Philippines on the illegal drug trade in the region, President Rodrigo Duterte said as he returned to the country after a two-day trip to Hanoi.

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In a news conference early on Friday in Davao City, the President said the two countries agreed to work together to fight illegal drugs.

“They will share intelligence data … I’ll be sending some military and police, sort of an envoy, for this specific purpose,” Duterte told reporters.

“They have agreed that it should be a concern, not only for the two nations, but for entire region,” he added.

Duterte noted that the Vietnamese government had also launched a crackdown on drug suspects. “They are so strict about it. And, do not mess up with these guys. They have been at war for so many generations. They will not hesitate to finish you off,” he said.

In his arrival speech, Duterte said Philippine officials and their Vietnamese counterparts agreed to explore ways to intensify law enforcement cooperation against transnational crime.

The President also said the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as unimpeded commerce in the region, particularly in the South China Sea.

“We called for a peaceful resolution of disputes including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, self-restraint in the conduct of activities, without resorting to a threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law,” Duterte said.

“We are nations for peace. We will continue to be so. A peaceful region is what we owe as a legacy to our succeeding generations,” he added.

Bilateral relations, the President said, would be enhanced by a six-year “strategic partnership” plan.

“We agreed to increase the exchanges between our officials and peoples and establish a six-year action plan starting 2017 for the implementation of activities in the areas of common interest,” he said.

“We have also agreed to increase the volume and achieve a more balanced trade and investment. We will enhance the investment environment to make it more conducive for businesses,” Duterte added.

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