NA Committee for External Affairs delegation visits the US

Hanoi (VNA) – A delegation of the National Assembly Committee for External Affairs, led by its Vice Chairman Ngo Quang Xuan, had meetings with the US Senate, House of Representatives, government officials and business circles during a visit to the United States from Jan. 13-16.

At a working session with the delegation, US Senator Richard Lugar, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, expressed his pleasure at the extension of the two countries’ cooperation in trade, investment, culture and education over the recent past.

He said he will do utmost to strengthen relations between the two countries and parliaments.

The delegation also worked with Congressman William Delahunt, chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Congressmen Russ Carnahan, Adam Smith and Jeff Fortenberry. The two sides discussed measures to intensify bilateral relations in various areas, including politics, economics, trade, culture and education.

They also dealt with humanitarian activities such as Vietnam’s support of the US in searching American soldiers missing in action during the war and the US’s aid to Vietnam in identifying war fallen combatants as well as in dealing with the consequences of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese side asked US senators and congressmen to convince the US administration to recognise Vietnam as a market economy and further open door for Vietnamese products.

Vietnamese deputies pledged to create favourable conditions for US businesses to invest in Vietnam .

The US side acknowledged that the two sides have differences in their view on some matters but stressed that this should not hinder the two countries’ cooperation and common interests. Exchange and contact on various matters, including human right and religious issues, should be promoted to enhance mutual understanding and reduce differences, they said.

At a working session with US businesses, the Vietnamese delegation introduced measures being taken to promote economic development in 2009 as well as the prospect of Vietnam-US relations in the coming years.

US businesses said they believed in Vietnam ’s stability and affirmed that Vietnam remains a destination and they will continue to invest in the country.

In an interview by Vietnam News Agency, Vice Chairman of the NA Committee for External Affairs Xuan said: “We have good reason to hope that in 2009, relations between the two countries in general and the two national assemblies in particular will develop strongly.”

He went on: “At the meetings, MPs from both sides realised the need to boost relations in 2009. We also discussed measures to exchange delegations at the highest level this year.”

Xuan said in the near future, activities will be held to intensify relations between members of parliaments of Vietnam and the US , the ASEAN and the US , and among member countries of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

He said NA committees will extend relations with their US partners. The NA together with relevant organisations will enhance people-to-people diplomacy for an overal vigorous relationship in the coming years.