U.S. President George W. Bush visits Viet Nam in November 2006


President Nguyen Minh Triet of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam was pleased to welcome United States President George W. Bush to Viet Nam. Reviewing the June 2005 Joint Statement made by President Bush and the then Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, both leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress in bilateral relations, which had resulted in today’s multifaceted and forward looking US-Viet Nam relations.


The relations encompass significant and growing trade and economic ties, an emerging military-to-military relationship, successful cooperation on health and development issues, growing cultural and educational links, a commitment to resolving remaining issues stemming from the war, a shared interest in ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and frank and candid discussion of differences.


The two sides reaffirmed their efforts to continue stable, constructive and broad-based bilateral relations, conducted on the principles of sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit.


President Triet and President Bush lauded the historic milestone of Viet Nam’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while President Bush reiterated his firm support for the Congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trading Relations (PNTR) status at the earliest.


President Triet confirmed that Viet Nam would fully uphold the rules-based trading system embedded in the WTO and join other members in their efforts to create a level playing field based on fairness, openness, and transparency.


He welcomed President Bush’s assurances that the United States would maintain open access to the US market and support Viet Nam’s process of integration with the world economy. The two leaders anticipated an even greater amount of bilateral trade and investment, benefiting the people of both nations.


President Bush also welcomed the Vietnamese leadership’s determination to accelerate the course of doi moi reforms, build the rule-of-law, combat corruption, and held that such efforts were important for Viet Nam’s economic vitality and favourable business and investment climate.


The two Presidents decided to sign the Maritime Transport Agreement at an early date to further accelerate growth of the vibrant economic relationship.


President Bush and President Triet discussed the growing co-operation between the United States and Viet Nam in addressing regional and global concerns.


Bush welcomed Viet Nam’s active engagement in international affairs aimed at maintaining peace, co-operation and development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and lauded Viet Nam’s support for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and the consensus views of the UNSC as expressed in UNSCR 1718. President Triet welcomed the reconvening of the Six-Party Talks and expressed the hope that a peaceful solution for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would be reached.


The two leaders pledged to increase cooperation to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technology and materials in accordance with international and national laws and each country’s capacities. They also pointed to the recent agreement on nuclear fuel replacement at the Da Lat Research Reactor, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Public Security, as examples of diverse ways in which the two countries are working together to protect the safety and security of their peoples and others in the region.


The two leaders looked especially into co-operation on health front as an example of tangible benefits of the United States and Viet Nam working closely together. President Bush praised Viet Nam’s timely, effective, and transparent response to avian influenza in the country, which had prevented any further human outbreaks in Viet Nam since October 2005.


He said that Viet Nam’s efforts were a model for the region, and pledged continued US support in responding to the threat of avian influenza. As Viet Nam was one of the focus countries for President Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR), the United States and Viet Nam would work closely together to combat the scourge of this disease. The two leaders agreed to further strengthen the present positive co-operation.


President Triet praised the work of the STAR initiative in Viet Nam and the extension of this activity, expressed his appreciation for the US Government’s increasing development assistance to Viet Nam and urged the US side to increase humanitarian assistance, including cooperation in areas such as unexploded ordnance and continued assistance to Vietnamese with disabilities.


The United States and Viet Nam also agreed on further joint efforts to address the environmental contamination near former dioxin storage sites.


President Bush explained the National Security Strategy of the United States which stresses the importance of world peace and stability for development in every country, full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.


President Triet apprised President Bush of recently promulgated laws and regulations on religious freedom that are being vigorously implemented in all localities of Viet Nam. The two leaders also noted the importance of continuing bilateral human rights dialogue and reaffirmed that it should be conducted in a comprehensive, constructive and results-oriented manner.


The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on resolving outstanding issues from the war and agreed to continue co-operation in this respect. President Triet reaffirmed his Government’s continued efforts to assist the United States in ensuring the fullest possible accounting of Americans who remain missing in action, through both joint and enhanced unilateral actions. President Bush reaffirmed US help in obtaining information on Vietnamese MIA cases.


Discussing cooperation in regional affairs, President Bush praised Viet Nam’s hosting of APEC this year as a demonstration of Viet Nam’s active and important role in promoting trade and economic liberalisation and strengthening security in the region. President Triet noted the robust engagement by the United States with ASEAN, and expressed his hope for increasing co-operation through the US-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership. The two leaders pledged continued efforts to seek mutual understanding on issues of regional and global concern.


The two leaders noted the importance of high-level visits between the two countries to the development of Viet Nam-US relations in the future. President Bush invited President Triet to visit the United States in 2007 to continue these discussions, and President Triet accepted with pleasure./.