New mark in Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership hinh anh 1US President Barack Obama (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The much-awaiting visit to Vietnam by US President Barack Obama is expected to leave a new hallmark in the two countries’ comprehensive partnership.

Taking place nearly one year after Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong traveled to the US, the visit is deemed as a move to affirm the positive trend of development in one of the world’s special relations.

Obama will become the third consecutive President of the US to visit Vietnam, following trips in 2000 by President Bill Clinton and 2006 by President George W.Bush.

Putting the past behind and looking towards the future is the policy that Vietnam and the US have pursued over the past 20 years since the two nations formally declared normalisation of bilateral relations in 1995 and after over 40 years since war ended in Vietnam in 1975.

Particularly, after elevating the relations to a comprehensive partnership, the cooperation between the two countries have been expanded across security-defence, education, science-technology, and climate change adaptation.

Two-way trade topped 45 billion USD in 2015, which is projected to be even more optimistic after the involved parties, including Vietnam and the US, complete the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Vietnam and the US are now reliable partners on Asia-Pacific and global issues. The two sides are closely working with partners from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for the sake of regional peace, security and prosperity, including navigational security and freedom in the East Sea, and the security of water resources and sustainable development in the lower part of the Mekong River.

A series of matters are scheduled to be under discussion during Obama’s trip to Vietnam such as the TPP, the removal of the lethal arms embargo on Vietnam, and the settlement of war consequences and detoxification of Agent Orange/Dioxin, as well as collaboration in economics-trade and security-defence.

On the threshold of the visit, the US New York Times commented that President Obama will focus on the future rather than the past to deepen the security and economic ties with Vietnam – an increasingly important regional player.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also sent optimistic messages on this visit. Undergoing a lot of ups and downs, Vietnam and the US are standing on new opportunities to enhance the bilateral relations in the light of regional and global changes. Obama’s visit to Vietnam is hoped to be a foundation and catalyst to drive the rapport forward.

Certainly, there are major differences in the political system and the perception of democracy, human rights and religious freedom between the two countries. It will not be easy to find a common voice, however, the Vietnam-US relations over the past two decades have proved that any relationship can be promoted if it is built on mutual respect and respect for differences.

As Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said at the US Department of State’s headquarters during his historical visit to the US in 2015: “Putting the past behind, overcoming differences, promoting similarities, and looking towards the future” with a “sincere and candid dialogue attitude” has made the difference in Vietnam-US relations.-VNA