Vietnam-US diplomatic ties marked in US

(VNA) Fifteen years ago, US President Bill Clinton’s announcement on the normalisation of US ties with Vietnam opened a new chapter in the two countries’ relationship, said the Vietnamese Ambassador to the US.

LCP_15.jpgLe Cong Phung was speaking at a reception marking the 15 th anniversary of the normalisation of the Vietnam-US diplomatic ties jointly hosted by the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and the US Department of State in Washington on the morning of July 15 (Vietnam time).

The function saw the attendance of former US President Bill Clinton, Senators John Kerry and John McCain, and House of Representatives member Eni Faleomavagea.

The Vietnamese ambassador expressed thanks to the participants and other US congressmen for supporting US-Vietnam ties.

He affirmed that gains in the bilateral relationship reflected the determination and will of the two countries’ leaders and people to boost the ties further.

“Although short, the past 15 years laid a firm foundation for the bilateral relationship in the future,” Phung said.

He affirmed that the development of Vietnam-US ties serves the interests of the two nations and their people, contributes actively to peace, stability, prosperity and security of the region and the world, and also helps solve important issues facing the international community.

Addressing the event, former President Clinton recalled the time from 1993 when he took office to 1995 when the two countries officially established diplomatic ties.

He also recalled his meetings with Vietnamese leaders, especially his visit to Vietnam in 2000, and reviewed developments in the two countries’ relationship in various fields.

The former president took this occasion to thank the two governments for helping him establish the Clinton Foundation to support people living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam .

As an enthusiastic supporter of the normalisation who has made a significant contribution to boosting the US-Vietnam ties, Senator John Kerry recalled efforts made by the two governments during the past two decades towards normalising ties.

He described Vietnam ’s cooperation in the search for US servicemen missing in action during the Vietnam War, prior to and since the two countries normalised ties, as an important factor in bilateral relations.

The senator said he had a profound impression of looking back through the entire history of US-Vietnam ties and congratulated Vietnam on successes it has recorded in the renewal process.

He noted that for the American people, Vietnam is presently not a war, but a country and a friend.

Addressing the function, Senator John McCain said the two countries’ relations have grown strongly and profoundly during the past 15 years, affirming that Vietnam has become one of the US ’s most important and promising trading partners in the Asia-Pacific.

Noting the 30-fold rise in the two countries’ trade value in 2009 over 1995, Senator McCain said this was just a starting point and expressed hope that the two countries’ ties will advance further.

Representing the US State Department at the event, Assistant to the Secretary of State Kurt Campbell cast his mind back to the days when he was involved in the normalisation process.

He said he thought the relationship between Vietnam and the US has a lot of potential for growth./.

Remarks made at the Reception by:

Ambassador Le Cong Phung

Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell

Former President Bill Clinton

Senator John Kerry

Senator John Mc Cain