Senator Patrick Leahy concludes Vietnam's visit

Patrick Leahy, President Pro Tempore of the US Senate, wrapped up his productive five-day visit to Vietnam on April 20. 
During his stay in Hanoi from April 17-18, Leahy paid courtesy calls to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang. 
He held talks with his host National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, met Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh and took part in an exchange with law students from the Hanoi National University . He and his entourage also visited a number of beauty spots and relic sites in Hanoi, including the house where late President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked, the One-Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature . 
In his working sessions with Vietnamese leaders, Leahy lauded the rising position and role of Vietnam in the region and the world, affirming that the US congress wishes to further multi-faceted cooperation with the country, especially its legislature, on the basis of comprehensive partnership set up by the two nations last July. 
He thanked Vietnam for its goodwill and assistance in accounting for US soldiers listed as missing in action during the war and pledged that his country will continue its efforts to help Vietnam overcome the consequences of the conflict that continue to blight the lives of local people. 
Leahy also said his country supports Vietnam in its ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. 
The US side lauded Vietnam’s new Constitution, which dedicates much consideration to human and citizen rights, as well as the country’s progress in human rights and religious freedom. 
Highly praising the cooperation of the US, and Leahy in particular, in aiding Vietnam’s recovery from the war, leaders of the Party, State and NA expressed their delight at the development of bilateral ties. 
Vietnam, with its consistent external policies of independence, self-reliance and international integration, considers the US as a very important partner, they said. 
They suggested that the two sides increase ties at all levels within their current frameworks. 
They proposed that the US continue to work closely with Vietnam in healing the wounds of the war, especially through demining and supporting victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Vietnam. It was suggested that the US congress give an appropriate budget for humanitarian issues in Vietnam, while fostering exchanges of experience and information with the Vietnamese NA. 
They also underscored the importance of bilateral affiliation in maintaining peace, stability, prosperity and development in the region and the world. 
In addition, they urged Leahy and the US to recognise Vietnam’s market economy and increase support in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. 
The Vietnamese leaders said they hope the US Senate leader will attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which Vietnam will host in 2015 – the year marking the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam-US diplomatic ties. 
From Aril 18-20, Leahy and his entourage visited the central city of Da Nang, where he attended a ceremony launching a dioxin-contamination treatment system at Da Nang airport. 
He also presented gifts to some people with disabilities in Hoa Vang district and Hoa Vang Hospital.-VNA