Vietnam, US seek ways to enhance bilateral partnership

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC on March 31 to discuss measures to strengthen the two countries’ comprehensive partnership and prepare for President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam.  

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (Source: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (Source: VNA)

Minh affirmed that Vietnam attaches significance to its all-round co-operation with the US, and appreciated both countries’ efforts to realise the agreements reached by their leaders, thus helping to bring about practical benefits to their people as well as to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese leaders and people welcome the upcoming visit to Vietnam by President Obama, he stated, suggesting the two countries prepare well and intensify exchanges so as to reach specific agreements during this visit.

Kerry said he hopes the two countries will step up collaboration to deepen the bilateral comprehensive partnership in strategic areas, including the economy, trade, investment, education, climate change response, and science and technology.

He noted his wish for the early establishment of mechanisms to intensify people-to-people exchanges, including an agreement related to Peace Corps volunteers teaching English in Vietnam.

The US will continue efforts to support Vietnam in addressing war consequences, particularly detoxifying dioxin-contaminated areas, and in improving the capacity of law enforcement and marine police forces.

He shared the negative impacts of climate change that Vietnam and other countries in the region are suffering from, confirming that the US will carry out more specific measures to help Vietnam deal with drought and saltwater intrusion.

Referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he said the Obama Administration appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in working with other countries to conclude negotiations on the deal, affirming that the US is now canvassing Parliament to approve the agreement in 2016.

The US will continue efforts to accelerate recognition of Vietnam as a market economy, and provide technical assistance for the nation during its implementation of the TPP, Kerry added.

At the talks, the two sides also exchanged opinions on regional and international situations, including the East Sea issue.

The US affirmed that it backs efforts to ensure maritime security and safety, and that disputes should be handled through legal processes and by peaceful means on the basis of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Earlier on March 30, Deputy PM Minh received leaders from the Boeing company and the Asian Coast Development Ltd. (ACDL), during which he pledged to continue facilitating operations of foreign enterprises in Vietnam.

He asked Boeing to provide continued technical assistance to help Vietnam gain a Category 1 rating in aviation safety as soon as possible, allowing the country to establish a direct air route to the US.

Deputy PM Minh is in the US to attend the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.