The year 2013 marked an important milestone in Vietnam-US relations with the establishment of the comprehensive partnership that reflected accurately the healthy, wide-ranging growth of the ties, from politics to economics, trade and science-technology.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh was speaking with Lao dong (Labour) newspaper on the threshold of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Vietnam, starting on December 14.

He revealed that Kerry once spoke of a plan to visit Vietnam since the beginning of this year but has delayed it due to issues arising in his home country.

The Deputy PM went on to note that bilateral political ties are moving forward, supported by exchanges of visits by the US Presidents, the President and the Prime Minister of Vietnam in 2000-2012, during which principles of the two countries’ ties gradually took shape.

The joint declaration issued during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US in 2013 left a major mark. Apart from launching the comprehensive partnership, it set out principles with the core one referring to the respect for both sides’ political institution. The US side declared to respect Vietnam’s political institution and avoid intervention in the country’s internal affairs, Minh told the paper.

Economic and trade connection is also noteworthy. Since the normalisation of bilateral ties in 1995, two-way trade surged 200-fold to 24 billion USD in 2012-2013 and there remains huge potential.

According to the Government leader, the bilateral relationship is enjoying favourable conditions. He cited the fact that the then senator John Kerry, or senator John McCain, or senator Chuck Hagel (the now Defence Secretary), who once actively worked for bilateral ties to be normalised, are dedicating their efforts to bringing them forward.

Minh said fine political links must be built so the economic, commercial, scientific and technological affiliation can benefit from to grow efficiently. Otherwise, their joint work in other fields will stand hard to go further.

He went on to say that Vietnam and the US still differ on approaches to democracy and human rights, describing it as inevitable in any relationship.

All differences must be settled via dialogues and exchanges, as President Truong Tan Sang stated during his recent US visit, Deputy PM Minh stressed, pointing to it as Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint and both sides are steadfast in this point.-VNA