Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry

VNA - Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had talks on August 7 in Hanoi with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry pledging to push forward with projects to decontaminate dioxin at Da Nang and Bien Hoa Airports. 

The US official spoke highly of Vietnam’s determination and efforts during negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), while affirming that the US will urge involved parties to finalise the process. 


He affirmed his support for further opening of market for Vietnamese products, including farm produce. 


Kerry also said the US is willing to give Vietnam further assistance in coping with climate change. 


Deputy PM Minh expressed delight at the growth of the Vietnam-US relationship in various fields over the past two years after the two countries set up their comprehensive partnership. 


He held that Vietnam and the US have common benefit in boosting bilateral cooperation in all fields, as well as shared interests and responsibilities in preserving peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. 


The Deputy PM suggested that the two sides maintain meetings and exchanges of delegations, especially at high level. He urged the US to be flexible and take into account Vietnam ’s development level in addressing remaining issues in bilateral TPP talks in order to early conclude bilateral negotiation. 


Minh also asked the US side to speed up detoxification projects in Bien Hoa after finishing the work in Da Nang airport, while increasing support to Vietnam in climate change response. 


In addition, he called on the US to completely remove the arms embargo on Vietnam for stronger mutual trust. 


During the talks, both sides also discussed regional matters of shared concern, including outcomes of recent ASEAN meetings in Malaysia . 


Kerry said he supports ASEAN’s central role, pledging that the US will continue its collaboration for a stronger ASEAN solidarity. 


On the East Sea issue, both sides agreed that all relevant parties should strictly implement the Declaration on Conducts of Parties in the East Sea and build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, while settling disputes with peaceful measures through diplomatic talks in conformity with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. 


On August 7, US Secretary of State John Kerry also has highlighted remarkable achievements of the Vietnam-US cooperation since the normalisation of relations in 1995, especially in education and trade, during a conference on 20 years of bilateral ties in Hanoi. 


Two-way trade has hit about 36 billion USD at present from only over 450 million USD 20 years ago, Kerry said, adding that the number of Vietnamese students studying in the US has risen to 17,000 from about 8,000 in the past. 


The two countries have successfully overcome differences and replace mistrust by trust and respect, stated Kerry. 


At the conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said over the past two decades, the Vietnam-US ties have seen significant progress from former enemy to comprehensive partnership for the growth of both nations and for peace, stability and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. 


He also expressed belief on a bright prospect of the ties. 


During the event, participants reviewed achievements in bilateral ties, focusing on areas of State governance, trade, health care and support for the disabled through efforts of both State and private sectors. 


* The same day, the US Secretary of State joined an online exchange with Vietnamese youth and students who engaged in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative launched by US President Barack Obama. 


Kerry said he believes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be reached at the end of this year, holding that the deal will raise the common business standard for common wealth, creating a circle of development that benefit all parties. 


He affirmed his support to the Fulbright University project, which is expected to boost the growth of Vietnamese education sector. 


During the exchange, the US Secretary of State also answered Vietnamese youth’s questions on TPP, among others. 


Meanwhile, a representative of Fulbright University, Dam Bich Thuy, also responded to queries on operation of the facility in the future./.