Friday, August 18, 2017 - 21:56:08

Increasing visits show growing Vietnam-US ties: ambassador

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Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh (L) grants an interview to Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)

Washington DC (VNA) – Increasing mutual visits at all levels between Vietnam and the US illustrate growing bilateral ties, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said on the threshold of an official visit to the US by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The May 29-31 trip, to be made at the invitation of US President Donald Trump, follows a series of visits by the two countries’ leaders including the trips to the US by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in 2015 and President Truong Tan Sang in 2013, and a visit to Vietnam by President Barack Obama last year.

Vinh told Vietnam News Agency that the increase of visits also demonstrates Vietnam’s rising stature in the region and the two countries’ efforts to deepen mutual understanding and seek new cooperation opportunities in new conditions.

This visit is the first US trip by a Vietnamese leader since President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

At meetings with US leaders over the past years, Vietnam reiterated its consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of foreign relations. It treasures bilateral relations with the US and wants to boost ties with the latter at regional and international cooperation, the ambassador said.

The Trump administration also affirmed that it values Vietnam’s role in the region and wishes to tighten bilateral connections, which will develop the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership in a result-oriented manner, Vinh added.

He noted that politicians, entrepreneurs or scholars in the US are all interested in Vietnam-US relations and assess those ties are mutually beneficiary. In his invitation to visit the US sent to PM Phuc, President Trump emphasised that the US wants to foster bilateral cooperation in all aspects and considers Vietnam its important partner in cooperation in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific.

He said he had met with US congress members who expressed their hope that the trip will create more momentum for the countries’ linkages. Meanwhile, many researchers also commented that as Vietnam is the first Southeast Asian nation to have a leader touring the US since Trump took office, the trip by PM Phuc is expected to clarify the US’s policy towards this region.

Regarding the visit’s main focus, the diplomat said it is of utmost importance to continue the development trend of bilateral ties, including in politics, over the last 22 years.

Economic and trade relations are still a pillar in the country’s partnership, surging about 100 times over the last two decades to more than 50 billion USD at present. Much room remains for their economic and trade ties which are also a big interest of the Trump administration, Vinh noted, adding that during this visit, both sides will surely reach a common voice to promote what they benefit from those economic and trade links.

In terms of security-defence cooperation, Vietnam and the US have already had frameworks such as the Joint Vision Statement on Defence Relations in 2015 and a protocol on defence cooperation. Cooperation in this field will be reinforced, especially in peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and navigation security and safety.

Meanwhile, there are about 30,000 Vietnamese students in the US who will be a bridge linking the two nations. More than 500,000 Americans visit Vietnam each year, he said, highlighting the need to create favourbale conditions to encourage the countries’ exchanges.

During his visit, PM Phuc is set to have talks with President Trump at the White House, meet with parliamentarians of both Democratic Party and Republican Party, and talk to scholars. Notably, he will host meetings with many US entrepreneurs.

Vinh expressed his belief that the two leaders will have useful discussions, reach common perceptions and set up development orientations for the bilateral relations. The ambassador also expected a number of contracts worth billions of USD will be signed between Vietnamese and US businesses, serving as evidence for the win-win cooperation between the two countries.-VNA
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