Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to the comprehensive partnership with the US during talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Hanoi on February 26.

The talks took place on the occasion of the US Secretary of State’s trip to Vietnam to attend the second DPRK-USA Summit scheduled for February 27-28.

Deputy PM Minh spoke highly of the US and DPRK’s selection of Vietnam as the venue for their summit, saying that the event will be a success, contributing to promoting the denuclearisation and restoration of long-term peace on the Korean peninsula.

He expressed his delight at the active and comprehensive development of bilateral ties over the past time, especially in economy, trade, education, settlement of war consequences and a project to address dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa airport.

The host suggested that the two sides should step up collaboration in bomb and mine clearance, and support for Agent Orange victims.

On regional issues of shared concern, Minh lauded the US’s role in the Lower Mekong Initiative, and asked the US to continue supporting ASEAN’s central role and solidarity as well as promote the ASEAN – US strategic partnership.

Pompeo, for his part, affirmed that the US treasures the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam and will continue working with Vietnam to step up practical and effective bilateral links in the near future.

He noted the US’s hope for a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam which plays an increasingly important role in the Indo-Pacific.

Both sides agreed to increase the exchange of visits, especially high-level ones in 2019, towards the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2020. They also agreed to continue considering trade and investment ties as a driving force for Vietnam – US relationship, and vowed to enhance education-training ties and people-to-people exchange.

On the East Sea issue, the two sides reaffirmed their support for the settlement of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, with full respect for diplomatic and legal processes, effective and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and early signing of of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.-VNA