President welcomes US Secretary of State in Hanoi hinh anh 1President Truong Tan Sang (R) meets US Secretary of State John Kerry in Hanoi. Photo: VNA
President Truong Tan Sang has told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Vietnam highly values its ties with the US and considers the country a top partner.

Receiving Kerry in Hanoi on August 7, the President said trust between the two countries is shown in agreements reached during his visit to the US in 2013 as well as the Joint Vision Statement released during the official visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last month.

He affirmed Vietnam’s goodwill and proactive approach to negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hoping that the remaining issues would be dealt with during the TPP ministers meeting later this month.

President Sang proposed that the US focus on and give Vietnam’s footwear and apparel products preferential policies similar to those given by the European Union and the Republic of Korea.

He lauded the US’s partial removal of the arms embargo on Vietnam and suggested that the country lift the entire embargo.

The State leader also asked the US to continue supporting Vietnam in coping with matters related to dioxin contamination hot spots in Bien Hoa and Da Nang airports.

On the East Sea issue, President Sang applauded the attitude and position of the US and the G7 in the settlement of disputes among parties in the East Sea as well as their support for Vietnam’s stance on the issue, which he said contributes significantly to the maintenance of peace, stability and maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea.

For his part, the US Secretary of State held that Vietnam and the US have travelled a long way to become trusted partners. Both countries have seen progress in their partnerships in economics, science, technology and security and defence, he noted.

Kerry said the US’s lifting of part of the arms embargo on Vietnam is the first important step forwards in bilateral defence cooperation towards the complete removal of the embargo.

Kerry also focused on the establishment of the Fulbright University in Vietnam , pledging to offer strong support for making the university world-class with links with Harvard University, offering great opportunities for Vietnamese students.

On TPP negotiations, the US official noted that the two sides have reached consensus on almost all common issues. He pointed to the need to finalise the appendix on labour for the early conclusion of the deal.

He briefed the host on the US’ concurrence with concerned ASEAN countries in opposing the construction of islands recently and calling for the parties to respect legal regulations and international law.

Regarding human rights, Kerry acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts in making domestic law consistent with international regulations in the field.

He confirmed that President Barack Obama is impressed by US visits of Vietnamese leaders and is looking forward to visiting Vietnam soon.

During the meeting, President Truong Tan Sang reaffirmed that Vietnam has successfully implemented bilateral agreements, and vowed to successfully realise those reached in the recent visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

He also thanked the US for opening the door on a number of Vietnamese agricultural products, suggesting that the country also allow the Mekong Delta specialties of mango and star apple to be sold in the US market.-VNA