US State Secretary John Kerry announced that the US was partially lifting its ban on the sale of lethal arms to Vietnam during talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Washington on October 2.
|Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh (L) and US State Secretary John Kerry have talks in Washington on October 2 (Photo: VNA)|
Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh visited the US on October 1-2 at the invitation of US State Secretary John Kerry.
During their talks, the two officials expressed their delight at the progress made in Vietnam-US relations, especially since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership in July 2013.
They discussed measures to deepen bilateral ties in the time to come and agreed to coordinate closely to organise events to mark the 20th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations in 2015.
Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh affirmed that Vietnam highly valued its ties with the US and was willing to enhance their multifaceted cooperation further.
He asked the US to be flexible in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations with Vietnam, provide technical assistance to his country during the negotiation and implementation of the TPP agreement, and recognise Vietnam’s market economy soon.
He also proposed increased cooperation on science and technology, education and training, and war legacy settlement between the two sides.
During the meeting, State Secretary John Kerry said the US appreciated Vietnam’s role in the Southeast Asian region and wished to continue its collaboration with the country in all spheres.
The US would actively contemplate Vietnam’s proposals and extend its support to settle war consequences, including issues of Agent Orange/dioxin and unexploded ordnances left over from the war, he said.
Kerry added that the US would push forward the establishment of a Fulbright University in Vietnam and continue dialogues to enhance mutual understanding on existing differences between the two countries.
John Kerry pledged to work more closely with Vietnam and countries in the region to implement projects within the framework of the Lower Mekong Initiative, including ensuring water security in the river basin.
The two sides also discussed regional and international matters of mutual interest, including the East Sea situation, affirming that concerned parties needed to comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, avoid actions that could escalate disputes and cause instability in the region, and settle disputes peacefully in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In a separate meeting, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice discussed measures to reinforce bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.
Susan Rice said the US continued to implement its rebalancing strategy in the region and valued its ties with Vietnam, whilst being committed to boosting their comprehensive partnership in a results-orientated manner.
The Vietnamese official and US Trade Representative Michael Froman met that same day, when they agreed to foster economic-trade relations and work harder to conclude the TPP agreement negotiations soon.
On October 1, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh attended a ceremony to publish the report “A New Era in US-Vietnam Relations: Deepening Ties Two Decades after Normalisation” at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.