ASEAN and Australian leaders at the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney, Australia. Addressing a retreat as part of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on Sunday, Mr Phuc said ASEAN-Australia ties are now better than ever and cooperative mechanisms led by ASEAN serve as important forums for both sides to achieve these goals. The Vietnamese Prime Minister, one of the four ASEAN leaders invited to deliver a keynote speech at the retreat, suggested the two sides effectively implement the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and soon complete negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Prime Minister Phuc pointed out the risks facing regional marine security and emphasized the need to comply with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. He stressed that the rule of law must be the foundation for trust building and regional stability. Mr Phuc applauded efforts made by Vietnam and Australia, along with the EU in co-chairing the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Support Group on maritime security for 2018-2020, saying it will contribute to peace, cooperation and trust building in the region. He said Vietnam welcomes Indo-Pacific cooperation and connectivity in which ASEAN plays a key role in promoting joint development. The same day, Prime Minister Phuc and the Vietnamese delegation left Sydney, concluding their activities within the official visit to Australia and the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.