Former US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Washington DC (VNA) - Former US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega on May 17 issued a press release in which he reaffirms his support for Vietnam and hails the country’s human rights progress in the context of the President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Vietnam.

Faleomavaega, who is also former Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and the Global Environment, said some of his colleagues of the Foreign Affairs Committee continue to hold annual hearings which use misleading information to destabilize Vietnam’s government.

He underscored that every other country, as well as the United Nations, recognized and commended Vietnam for the progress it had made. Vietnam is fast becoming a regional leader, and it is in the interest of the United States to work with, not against, Vietnam, the former congressman said.

In addition, with increasing tensions in the South China Sea (which is called East Sea in Vietnam), the United States needs the support of regional allies and friends like Vietnam to stand with the United States in protecting freedom of navigation in the Asia Pacific region, Faleomavaega noted.

He also commended President Obama for his upcoming visit to Vietnam and expressed his hope that through this visit, the Obama administration would completely lift the arm embargo in order to allow Vietnam to purchase defense articles that support its ability to defend our own sovereignty.

Faleomavaega emphasized that it was legitimate for a country to strengthen its defensive ability, and lifting the embargo also expressed the growing strategic defense and security relationship between Vietnam and the United States.

The former Congressman noted that when he was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, he had several occasions to visit Vietnam in which he met directly with Vietnam’s leaders to understand their commitment to support cooperation for peace, security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and also between the US and Vietnam.

He also attended different religious services in various houses of worship to see how Vietnam's government facilitated religious activities and protected religious organizations in accordance with the country’s law.

Former Congressman Faleomavaega sent his highest regards to Vietnam’s new administration as well as Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh for all they were doing to strengthen US-Vietnam relationship. He wished Vietnam success of the coming National Assembly Election.-VNA