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Culture minister’s France visit bears fruit

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh has held in-depth discussions on culture and heritage cooperation with several senior French officials as part of his ongoing visit to France from February 13-16.

The visit came as the France Year in Vietnam has wrapped up successfully and the Vietnam Year in France will be launched on February 14 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

At a meeting with Minister and President of the French Institute Xavier Darcos, Minister Anh affirmed that the 2013 France Year in Vietnam had received positive response from Vietnamese audiences.

He said he highly believes that the Vietnam Year in France , which features about 100 events across the country, will leave a deep impression on the French friends, expressing hope that the cultural exchange between the two countries will not stop there but continue further in the future.

Darcos, for his part, said Anh’s visit to launch the Vietnam Year in France demonstrates that the Vietnamese Government gives this event a due importance, adding that the French Government also pay great attention to exchange activities with Vietnam.

He shared the Vietnamese minister’s view that the Vietnam – France Exchange Year is not a short term project, and it should be passed down to young generations in order to foster the traditional friendship between the two nations.

At Anh’s talks with French Minister of Culture and Communication Aurelie Filippetti, both sides vowed to work more closely in the future, after reviewing the bilateral partnership in culture, including projects on preserving Vietnamese cultural heritage.

Filippetti said the Vietnam Year in France is a chance to introduce to both peoples the growing bilateral partnership of the two countries.

After the talks, the two ministers witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam Film Institute (IFV) and the France’s National Audiovisual Institute (INA) under which, the INA will lend IFV 203 audio-visual materials with a total length of 5 hours and 30 minutes and 528 radio materials running 97 hours. The materials include some records of President Ho’s speeches and military campaigns between 1945-1954.

Minister Anh also met with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova on February 13, where he reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to fulfilling its role as a member of the World Heritage Committee (WHC), adding that the country is considering the possibility of hosting the annual WHC meeting by 2016.

The minister also informed the UNESCO leader that Vietnam will hold the ASEAN Culture Festival this April, saying that the country is actively working for the realisation of the ASEAN community on three pillars by 2015, including the ASEAN socio-cultural community.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s efforts to preserve UNESCO-recognised heritage sites, Bokova suggested Vietnam send young officials to UNESCO to be trained to become cultural diplomats, especially in heritage realm.

She invite the Vietnamese minister to attend a special session on the link between culture and development at the United Nations General Assembly, which is a UNESCO initiative.

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