Leaders across the world have conveyed their congratulations to Vietnam ahead of its 68 th National Day on September 2.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was among those to offer warm words.

In a press statement issued on August 30, he wrote: “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Vietnam as you celebrate your National Day.”

Kerry, who served as a naval officer during the American War in Vietnam, went on to say that he has strong memories of arriving in Hanoi in 1991 on his first trip to the country as a civilian. He found a country that “had moved past war and division and was eager to engage with the world.”

He wrote that it has been moving and rewarding to be a partner to the Vietnamese people as America reengaged with its former enemies. He remarked that reconciliation does not come easily but is worth the investment of energy and goodwill.

The statement touched upon President Sang’s recent visit to Washington, which Kerry said and celebrated the progress the two nations have made together in the 18 years since they normalised diplomatic relations.

The Secretary pledged that in the coming year, Vietnam and the US will work to expand cooperation on education and strengthen people-to-people exchanges. Both countries will deepen dialogue on trade, health, human rights and environmental challenges as they carry forward their bilateral strategic relationship based on common desire for peace and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific.

The message concluded by saying: “On this festive occasion, we celebrate our shared journey from conflict to friendship. Thanks to you, together we’ve accomplished what at times seemed impossible. May you enjoy peace, good health and prosperity in the coming year.”

The same day, numerous international friends attended a ceremony to mark Vietnam’s National Day in Berlin.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh made it clear that Vietnam-Germany relations have fared well since the two nations lifted their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership level.

German Secretary of State for External Relations, Cornolia Piepe, said bilateral trade ties are growing dynamically and Germany continues upholding its role as Vietnam’s top trading partner in the European Union.

Similar events also took place in Sri Lanka and Singapore.-VNA