US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education on January 13 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – US Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the US always treasures ties with Vietnam and will continue pursuing set principles in the development of ties with the country.

He made the statement during talks with students of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education on January 13.

The two nations are deepening comprehensive partnership via cooperation programmes in health care, education and science-technology, among others.

Over the past two decades, the number of Vietnamese students to the US has surged from 60,000 to nearly 500,000 and the two-way trade has soared from more than 400 million USD to 45 billion USD, he said.

On the environment field, he suggested Vietnam join multilateral deals to mitigate the impacts of natural resources exploitation, especially water resources in the Mekong River.

Vietnam and the US have strengthened mechanisms on clean energy, water resources management, and ecological resources, he said, adding that the US wants Vietnam to become a model of developing clean energy, and preventing environment pollution and climate change.

According to him, the two countries are partnering closely within the framework of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, humanitarian search and rescue, and post-disaster recovery.

Both countries will continue working closely together on the search for remains of soldiers missing in action during the war – a special humanitarian activity in bilateral ties over the past years.

On the occasion, he thanked the US Ambassador to Vietnam and American citizens for contributing to bilateral ties, and affirmed that until his next trip to Vietnam, he will continue working to boost bilateral ties.

In the afternoon the same day, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang hosted a reception for Kerry.-VNA