Viet Nam leaders welcome US Secretary of State in Hanoi

VNA - Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong gave a reception for US Secretary of State John Kerry in Hanoi on August 7, where he praised Kerry’s contributions to the Vietnam-US ties over the past years as well as his role in important diplomatic activities between the two countries recently.

Lauding the outcomes of the US Secretary of State’s talks and meeting with Vietnamese officials, the Party chief stressed the need for maintaining regular high-level meetings and contacts between the two sides for deeper mutual understanding and bolstering the implementation of bilateral comprehensive partnership.


The Party leader acknowledged the efforts as well as goodwill and constructive attitude of both the Vietnamese and US negotiation teams for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which he said helped facilitate talks for the deal.


He affirmed Vietnam ’s policy of continuing collaborating closely with the US and other sides for the early conclusion of the negotiations, meeting the interest of all involving parties.


The Party chief also lauded the positive contributions of the US and the Secretary of State to the recent ASEAN Regional Forum and related activities, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region.


John Kerry said his visit is part of activities marking the 20 th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties, as well as part of efforts to realise agreements reached by top leaders of both countries.


The US attaches much importance to relations with Vietnam which it considers an important partner in the region, he stated, adding that his country will work hard to carry out commitments with Vietnam in prioritised areas in accordance with the Joint Statement on Comprehensive Partnership in 2013 as well as the recent Joint Vision Statement.


He expressed belief that the bilateral ties will continue flourish in the future for the interest of both countries as well as for peace, stability, cooperation and progress in the region and the world.


During the meeting, the US official also mentioned the US’ position on the East Sea issue, the situation of TPP negotiations as well as a number of planned steps in the future for the finalisation of the important deal.


* Receiving Kerry in Hanoi on August 7, President Truong Tan Sang said trust between the two countries is shown in agreements reached during his visit to the US in 2013 as well as the Joint Vision Statement released during the official visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last month.

He affirmed Vietnam’s goodwill and proactive approach to negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hoping that the remaining issues would be dealt with during the TPP ministers meeting later this month.


President Sang proposed that the US focus on and give Vietnam’s footwear and apparel products preferential policies similar to those given by the European Union and the Republic of Korea.


He lauded the US’s partial removal of the arms embargo on Vietnam and suggested that the country lift the entire embargo.


The State leader also asked the US to continue supporting Vietnam in coping with matters related to dioxin contamination hot spots in Bien Hoa and Da Nang airports.


On the East Sea issue, President Sang applauded the attitude and position of the US and the G7 in the settlement of disputes among parties in the East Sea as well as their support for Vietnam’s stance on the issue, which he said contributes significantly to the maintenance of peace, stability and maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea.


For his part, the US Secretary of State held that Vietnam and the US have travelled a long way to become trusted partners. Both countries have seen progress in their partnerships in economics, science, technology and security and defence, he noted.


Kerry said the US’s lifting of part of the arms embargo on Vietnam is the first important step forwards in bilateral defence cooperation towards the complete removal of the embargo.


Kerry also focused on the establishment of the Fulbright University in Vietnam , pledging to offer strong support for making the university world-class with links with Harvard University, offering great opportunities for Vietnamese students.


On TPP negotiations, the US official noted that the two sides have reached consensus on almost all common issues. He pointed to the need to finalise the appendix on labour for the early conclusion of the deal.


He briefed the host on the US’ concurrence with concerned ASEAN countries in opposing the construction of islands recently and calling for the parties to respect legal regulations and international law.


Regarding human rights, Kerry acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts in making domestic law consistent with international regulations in the field.


He confirmed that President Barack Obama is impressed by US visits of Vietnamese leaders and is looking forward to visiting Vietnam soon.


During the meeting, President Truong Tan Sang reaffirmed that Vietnam has successfully implemented bilateral agreements, and vowed to successfully realise those reached in the recent visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.


He also thanked the US for opening the door on a number of Vietnamese agricultural products, suggesting that the country also allow the Mekong Delta specialties of mango and star apple to be sold in the US market.


* The same day, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam also hosted a reception for the US Secretary of State, during which he noted that there is room and great opportunity for Vietnam and the US to cooperate, especially in education and training, and science and technology. 


He held that affiliation among universities of both sides over the past years is a good experience. 


The US Secretary of State affirmed that education-training and science-technology are among important cooperation areas between Vietnam and the US . 


The success of Fulbright University in Vietnam is expected to contribute to strengthening bilateral education ties and become a bright spot in the Vietnam-US relations, he said. 


At the same time, Kerry also stated that his country will continue helping Vietnam in preventing and eradicating HIV/AIDS as well as in science and technology projects./.