Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc highlighted significant outcomes of US President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Vietnam in an interview in Hanoi on May 25.

Vietnam and the US issued a Joint Statement agreeing to strengthen their comprehensive partnership in a pragmatic, effective and sustainable manner for the sake of the two nations as well as peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The Joint Statement reiterated the two sides’ commitment to respecting international law, political institutions, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the respective countries.

Both nations agreed to boost trade and investment cooperation. The two sides sealed a number of economic deals worth up to 16.3 billion USD in aviation and wind power, Ngoc said.

He added that President Obama pledged to urge the US Congress to adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in 2016 and provide technical support for Vietnam to implement the world’s biggest trade deal. The US will continue to open its market for Vietnamese goods and consider importing Vietnamese mangoes and star apples.

Regarding defence-security, President Obama announced the full removal of the ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam, ending the last vestige of the Cold War. Vietnam and the US also inked a letter of agreement on support in the field of law and judicial enforcement.

The two sides agreed to increase collaboration in marine police search and rescue efforts, and give higher priority to addressing the aftermath of war. President Obama affirmed that the US will cooperate with Vietnam to tackle Agent Orange/Dioxin at Bien Hoa Airport, following the success of a similar project at Da Nang Airport, as well as clear bombs and mines.

Vietnam and the US also reached cooperation agreements in education and training, including the establishment of the Vietnam Fulbright University. The two sides inked a framework agreement under which Vietnam will allow the US Peace Corps to teach English in Vietnam, and an agreement to increase the exchange of students between the two countries. President Obama said he hopes to see more US students to arrive in Vietnam.

Both nations agreed to cooperate in science-technology and health. They sealed the Administrative Arrangement under the US-Vietnam Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and agreements relevant to oil and gas, solar power and wind power projects.

The two sides decided to enhance coordination in preventing threats from pandemics. The US vowed to support Vietnam to enhance health capacity at sea and island areas.

Last but not least, Vietnam and the US agreed to strengthen cooperation to deal with common challenges in the region and beyond, including East Sea issues, climate change, sustainable development, prevention of wild animals trade, non-proliferation of weapon of mass destruction, and peacekeeping activities.

On the East Sea issue, the two sides reiterated their standpoints stated in the Sunnylands Declaration of the ASEAN-US Special Leaders’ Summit in February 2016.

They issued Joint Announcements on the Vietnam-US Partnership in the prevention of wildlife trafficking and climate change adaptation. Additionally, the US pledged to coordinate with and support Vietnam to successfully hold the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017.

Ngoc described the strides in the Vietnam-US relationship, gained only 10 months after the historic visit to the US by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, as an enormous achievement and evidence of Vietnam’s policy of putting aside the past, overcoming differences, promoting similarities and looking towards the future, as Party leader Trong said to President Obama during their talks at the White House in July 2015.

Mentioning the letter of intent on the Cooperative Humanitarian and Medical Storage signed during President Obama’s visit, he said that the two sides will continue to seek a venue to store medical equipment and medicines for humanitarian activities as well as for natural disaster and disease relief.

The venue will not be a base for US personnel, he affirmed.

The Deputy FM said the decision to fully lift the ban on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam demonstrates the truly normalised relations between the two countries, helping facilitate their comprehensive cooperation, including in national defence, and contributing to building their mutual trust.

Thanks to the US’s move, Vietnam will be able to diversify its supply of weapons and military equipment, he said.

While stressing Vietnam’s consistent policy of advocating peace and addressing disputes through peaceful measures and diplomatic and legal channels, Ngoc explained that the country’s strengthening national defence capacity is to protect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In conclusion, he said, the visit was a success and a new landmark for the two countries on their road towards the fulfillment of the Joint Vision Statement issued in July 2015 during the visit to the US by Party General Secretary Trong.-VNA