General Martin Dempsey visits Vietnam

* General Martin Dempsey has stated that his visit to Vietnam, the first ever by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, is a commitment to peace and stability in the region, and the US’s wish to become a good partner of Vietnam. 

General Dempsey made the statement at his meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on August 14. He is currently on a four-day working visit made at the invitation of Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty. 

PM Dung viewed that the visit will be an important contribution to the growing comprehensive partnership between the two countries. 

He affirmed that Vietnam wants to work together with the US to continue to grow their relations productively in all fields for their interests and peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. 

The PM said he agrees and supports the continuous deployment of cooperative fields the two countries agreed previously, including the settlement of Agent Orange/dioxin consequences, the clearance of leftover bombs and mines, the training of English for Vietnamese officers, and the cooperation with and support for Vietnam’s joining of the UN peacekeeping mission. 

For his part, General Dempsey said he shared with the evaluation that peace, stability, and maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in Asia-Pacific is being seriously threatened by groundless claims and sovereignty-claiming actions based on unilateral power, pointing to the situation as a threat not only to Vietnam and the ASEAN member states but also to the interests of countries, including the US. The US and regional countries share common interests and there is a reasoning for concerns to be raised when a big country attempts to structure the region according to its set plan. 

Dempsey emphasised that countries, including the US, bear the responsibility for maintaining peace, stability, and maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the region; support dispute settlement by peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 and of not unilaterally using power or threatening to use force. 

He told his host that he had productive discussions with the Vietnamese side on the issues of mutual concern as well as the promotion of bilateral ties. 

The General affirmed the US’s commitment to making every effort together with Vietnam address war consequences, considering the issue as a priority. 

The US has backed Vietnam’s participation in the UN’s peacekeeping operations and wished to work with the country in maritime security and in solving challenges to the protection of sovereignty at sea, he confirmed. 

Dempsey also informed that the US is working to seek a roadmap and ways to soon lift the ban on sale of lethal weapon for Vietnam, saying that the number of Government officials, congressmen, diplomats and military men supporting the lift is growing. 

He expressed his belief that the two countries will have sound, productive cooperation in the coming time.-VNA

* Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh welcomed in Hanoi on August 14 General Martin Dempsey on his visit to Vietnam, the first official one by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army. 

General Thanh said he believes that the visit will bring about positive changes in the ties between the two armies after reflecting his delight at the fine development of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership. 

Speaking highly of the outcomes of the talks between Dempsey and Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Do Ba Ty, Thanh held out hope that the US army chief will continue supporting the fostering of bilateral relations in all fields, for peace and prosperity in the region and the world at large. 

For his part, Dempsey suggested the two armies continue actively implementing signed agreements and agreed cooperative orientations in order to nurture the partnership between the two countries.-VNA