Hanoi (VNA) – Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong on November 20 received US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who is now on a working visit to Vietnam.

The US official spoke highly of the dynamic developments, position, role and active contributions of Vietnam to regional and international issues. He hailed the practical and effective developments of the Vietnam – US relations over the recent past, and affirmed that the US attaches importance to and hopes to further strengthen and deepen the relations as well as cooperation with Vietnam in all the fields, with that on defence being an important component.

Esper congratulated Vietnam on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term and as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, and pledged to coordinate with and support the country to well perform its tasks.

For his part, Vuong expressed his satisfaction at the progress in the bilateral relations and affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of taking the US as one of the top important partners and hoping to boost them in various fields, including defence cooperation. The official stressed the need to exchange high-level delegations and to intensify cooperation to deal with the consequences of the war, including the detoxification at the Bien Hoa airport and assistance to the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin.

Vuong asked the US to continue assisting Vietnam in joining UN peacekeeping activities.

The two sides also exchanged ideas on a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern. Esper affirmed that the US supports the settlement of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful measures, on the basis of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, full respect to diplomatic and legal procedures, and ensuring freedom and safety of navigation and aviation in the region./.