Pics: India-Vietnam sign pact to widen oil exploration in South China

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New Delhi, Nov 21: India and Vietnam have signed an agreement for developing and expanding oil exploration in the South China Sea, which may bother China. In order to expand oil exploration projects in the disputed South China Sea, the two countries have decided to allocate new oil blocks too.

Call it a move to enhance the bilateral ties, both the country premiers-Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and Nguyen Phu Trong (General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam)-discussed on a number of topics related to key bilateral and regional issues, apart from signing 7 more pacts.

In a joint media conference with Nguyen, Singh said,"Both India and Vietnam belong to a region that holds enormous potential but also many challenges. We have a strong convergence of interests in working together and with others in the region, for a stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia. We have, therefore, sought to build a comprehensive relationship with a broad-based agenda of bilateral and regional cooperation."

Apporeciating the offer made by Vietnam to ONGC Videsh limited for an offshore block in areas with territorial disputes involving seven nations including China, Philippines and Vietnam. The MoU further strengthened the associations of both the countries in terms of exploration, development and production of petroleum resources and new investments by OVL and Gas blocks in Vietnam.

On the other way round, India has also invited to participate in open blocks in India and the third countries. Not surprisingly, this has not gone down well with China. "China opposes unilateral exploration and development of oil and gas in contested waters of the South China Sea. We hope relevant countries can respect China's claim, position and rights and interests, and respect and support efforts made by countries in the region to solve disputes through bilateral negotiations," said an official.

Despite this, Vietnam insists that India can continue with their oil exploration as they are within the Vietnamese "exclusive economic zone".

In New Delhi

rime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, at their joint press statement after a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, at a delegation level meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, look on as OVL MD DK Saraf and Vietnamese Vice President (Petro) exchange files after signing an MoU at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, look on as Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Vietnamese Transport Minister Dinh La Thang shake hands after signing Air Service Agreement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong during a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong during a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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