National Assembly Chairman appreciates US Congressmen's role

Ha Noi, Nov. 17 (VNA) -- National Assembly Chairman Nong Duc Manh has highlighted the active role of US congressmen, including Senator John Kerry, in the improvement of relations between Viet Nam and the United States of America.

Mr. Manh expressed his appreciation while receiving on Nov. 17 a US congressional delegation who accompany President William Jefferson Clinton on his visit to Viet Nam.

He welcomed the US Congressmen's and the President's current visit to Viet Nam, describing it as an important event in the relationship and cooperation between the two countries. He said that Viet Nam and the US have witnessed progress in their bilateral relations, and that the signing of the bilateral trade agreement in July 2000 marked new step of development in the relations between the two nations.

Chairman Manh said he hoped that the cooperation between the two legislative bodies would be continuously strengthened, thus contributing to bettering mutual understanding between the two peoples and promoting the relations between the two countries.

He briefed his guests of the contents of the eighth session of the 10th National Assembly, and took this opportunity to thank international friends including the US for their valuable assitance to flood victims in Viet Nam's Mekong delta.

The NA Chairman was glad to answer the US congressmen's questions on the elections of people's councils, education and cooperation in environmental protection in flood-prone areas in the Mekong River basin.

Senator John Kerry expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese National Assembly for its efforts towards the signing of the bilateral trade agreement, and congratulated Viet Nam on its achievements in the recent past.

After the reception, the US congressmen attended a plenary session of the Vietnamese National Assembly at the Ba Dinh Conference Hall.

In the framework of the Viet Nam visit, the US congressional delegation is scheduled to meet with officials of the Trade Ministry, the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and the Viet Nam-US Parliamentarians Group, and talk with the NA Committee for External Relations and the NA Committee for Economics and Budget.--