Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh pays official visit to US


Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had meetings with several US officials in Washington DC during his official visit to the US from May 22-23 at the invitation of US Secretary of State Pompeo (photo below).



Vietnam treasures its relations with the US and is ready to discuss measures to deepen the comprehensive partnership on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political systems in each nation, said a senior official.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh made the statement while meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Deputy National Security Advisor Charles Kupperman (photo below) 


and with Assistant to the US President Keith Kellogg in Washington on May 22 (photo below).



Minh said he rejoiced at the positive development of Vietnam-US bilateral relations, stressing that as both sides hold huge potential in bilateral, regional and international cooperation, they should maintain sound economy-trade ties and enhance collaboration in education-training, science-technology, security-defence and settlement of post-war consequences, among others.


For his part, the US officials spoke highly of relations with Vietnam, and affirmed that they wanted to continue cooperation with the Southeast Asian country to bring ties to a new height.


The US side suggested both countries work together to enhance the exchange of high-level delegations, boost economy-trade-investment relations, and support the settlement of post-war aftermath, including dioxin detoxification at Vietnam’s Bien Hoa airport.


At the meetings, both sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern. Lauding the role of the US in the Lower Mekong Initiative, Minh asked the country to further coordinate with Vietnam at multilateral and regional mechanisms, especially when Vietnam takes on the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.


On the East Sea issue, they reiterated their support for the settlement of disputes via peaceful measures in line with international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and based on full respects of diplomatic and legal progresses as well as effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).


The US side pledged to play a positive role in the Asia-Pacific to maintain order and promote peace, stability, cooperation and development in this important region.


Talking to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (photo below), Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh affirmed that Vietnam has been improving its investment climate, and it encourages US companies to invest and do business in the country. He also proposed that the two sides continue handling issues of shared concern in the spirit of promoting win-win trade.



Secretary Mnuchin agreed to keep fostering economic, trade and investment ties, considering these as a foundation for the two countries’ relations. He also appreciated Vietnam’s active sharing of information and settlement of some priority economic-financial issues.


At another meeting, the Vietnamese official and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (photo below) reviewed the progress in bilateral economic-trade links. To support the upward trend of these partnerships, they agreed to continue optimising available cooperation mechanisms, including the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, while negotiating new, stable and long-term economic-trade frameworks that match the characteristics and scale of the two countries’ economic ties and overall relations.



Meeting with Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan (photo below), Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh appreciated the US Department of Defence for allocating part of its budget for the dioxin remediation project at Bien Hoa airbase, which was officially launch in April this year.



The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation under the 2011 memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation and the 2015 joint vision statement on defence cooperation, including in marine security, unexploded ordnance clearance, the Bien Hoa airbase dioxin remediation project, support for Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in action.


The Vietnamese official also met with Eliot Engel, Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. Engel emphasised his support for the two countries’ comprehensive partnership, affirming that the US congress will continue supporting budget allocation for cooperation with Vietnam in war consequence settlement, especially the Bien Hoa airbase dioxin remediation project and supporting persons with disabilities.


He noted that the US congress pays attention to the East Sea situation and supports the maintenance of freedom, safety and security of navigation and aviation, as well as the peaceful handling of disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.



Receiving Executive Vice President of the AES Corp. Gustavo Pimenta (photo above), Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh reiterated that the Vietnamese Government always creates the best possible conditions for US businesses to operate, especially in the field of energy. He expressed his belief that the AES’s investment projects in Vietnam will be successful and help attract more projects of US firms to the Southeast Asian nation.-VNA