US President considers whether to lift arms embargo on Vietnam hinh anh 1U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) and CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Washington July 7, 2015. (Source: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – President Barack Obama is considering whether to lift the three-decade-old US arms embargo on Vietnam, Reuters reported, citing US officials on May 9.

The debate within the US administration is coming to a head amid preparations for Obama's trip to Vietnam in the second half of May to bolster ties between Washington and Hanoi, the news agency said, adding that the full removal of the embargo would sweep away one of the last major vestiges of the Vietnam War era and advance the normalisation of relations begun 21 years ago.

In recent years, bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and the US has seen unceasing development.

Bilateral trade has rocketed by 90 times over two decades, from 500 million USD in 1994 to 45 billion USD in 2015. The figure is expected to increase after the member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership finished ratifying the deal, which also involves Vietnam and the US.

The two sides have also made strides in security – defence cooperation with the signing of the Joint Vision Statement in 2015 and the implementation of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding in maritime security, search and rescue, disaster response and peace-keeping.-VNA