Ambassador: Vietnam, US ties bright in 2008

04/01/2009 -- 9:58 PM (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Le Cong Phung described 2008 as a bright year of the Vietnam-US relations, showing political determination of the two countries’ leaderships and desire of both nations.
The US visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in June 2008 marked a milestone, making Vietnam-US cooperation more intensive with higher quality, the Ambassador told the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in an interview.
In terms of politics, last year Vietnam-US cooperation was prominent in performing the missions at the United Nations Security Council, the diplomat said.
The US delegation often exchanged its opinions on international peace and security with Vietnam before announcing their points of view, he added.
For its part, as a responsible member of the international community, Vietnam well fulfilled its role as the chair of the UNSC, having expressed its concern over regional and international issues as well as issues related to bilateral ties, said ambassador Phung.
In his opinion, a strategic dialogue mechanism on politics and security, formulated during PM Dung’s visit, marked a drastic change in the relationship between the two countries, which were rivals during the war.
The ambassador also mentioned another important dialogue mechanism between the two defence ministries, which, he said, manifests the US ’s desire to set up cooperation with Vietnam in defence, making it intensive and practical.
Bilateral cooperation in such fields as science and technology, education, economic and trade, has also seen important progresses, the diplomat affirmed.
In this year 2009, he said, there won’t be so many high-ranking delegation exchanges as in 2008. However, 2009 will be a busy year of implementation of the reached agreements and commitments, the ambassador said.
“We will continue joining hand with the US in the UNSC activities and there will be security and defence-related visits between the two countries," Phung said.
He said the two countries will boost cooperation in education, science and technology and boost investment and trade ties.
They will also discuss measures to accelerate their political, economic and educational relations, according to the ambassador.
He predicted that bilateral trade turnover in 2009 would not be so high as in 2008, but still grow and more US businesses and investors would come to Vietnam .
“We do hope that with the investors’ commitments and determination, US ’s investment into Vietnam will not much decrease,” Phung said.
The ambassador also highly value contribution by Vietnamese entrepreneurs and intellectuals who are residing in the US to the country.
There are about 1.5 million overseas Vietnamese in the US , representing almost 50 percent of the overseas Vietnamese community.