Foreign Minister holds talks with US counterpart


VNA - Vietnam and the US have agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels and promote bilateral ties in various fields, of which economics, trade and investment will continue to be the focus and momentum for the two countries’ relations.
The two sides reached the consensus during talks between Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Hanoi on July 10. 
The two sides affirmed to strengthen cooperation in science-technology, education and training, health and environment, including negotiations on an agreement on the peaceful use of civil nuclear energy (called Agreement 123), educational cooperation in the framework of the Vietnam Educational Fund (VEF) and projects on cooperation in coping with climate change and rising sea water levels. 
The US Secretary of State said she is pleased with the intensive and extensive development of the bilateral relations, expressing that the two sides will continue efforts to upgrade their relationship to the level of a strategic partnership. 
Clinton affirmed that the US Government respects Vietnam ’s independence and sovereignty and wants the country to develop strongly with an increasingly important role in the regional and international arenas. She also stressed a commitment to supporting the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI). 
FM Minh suggested the US Government remove trade barriers against Vietnamese products and soon recognise Vietnam as a market economy, so granting the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to the country. 
He expressed he hopes that the US will satisfy Vietnam ’s interests in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and increase support for the country in addressing the war consequences, especially the issue of Agent Orange/dioxin. 
Minh and his US counterpart also discussed measures to boost cooperation in the framework of regional and international forums. 
The two sides affirmed to continue contributing to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the East Sea . 
They agreed that the East Sea sovereignty disputes should be solved by peaceful means and on the basis of international laws, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and strict implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as ensuring maritime freedom, safety and security. 
At a press briefing after the talks, the US Secretary of State said that the US has increased its financial commitment and put forth a long-term plan for addressing the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxin left by the war in Vietnam . 
On the same day, Clinton attended the 20 th anniversary of the US Government’s Fulbright Programme in Vietnam at the Hanoi Foreign Trade University and joined a meeting with the Vietnamese and US business communities. 
On the occasion, the US Secretary of State and Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between General Electric (GE) and the Vietnam National Power Transmission Corporation.-VNA