Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh (R) and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis (Photo: VNA)

Washington D.C. (VNA) – The US will continue fostering cooperation with Vietnam in defence, search and rescue, disaster relief, maritime security, peacekeeping, and war aftermath settlement, said US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

Meeting outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh on May 25, Mattis affirmed the US’s wish to strengthen cooperative ties with Vietnam in all fields and the country’s support for Vietnam’s strong development, independence and prosperity.

At the meeting, the two officials highly evaluated important strides in the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership over the past years, including bilateral cooperation in security-defence.

Mattis and Vinh also discussed a number of international and regional issues of mutual concern, as well as the strengthening of relationship between the ASEAN and the US, and the maintenance of peace, security and development cooperation in the region, including the East Sea issue, thus ensuring maritime and aviation freedom and security and respect to international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

Mattis lauded Vinh’s contributions to enhancing the Vietnam-US relationship, including cooperative ties in security-defence.

For his part, Vinh affirmed that Vietnam always treasures the comprehensive partnership with the US.

He expressed his delight at the growth of bilateral relations over the past years, especially through mutual visits by leaders of the two countries, including the US visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May 2017, the Vietnam visit by President Donald Trump in November 2017, and the historical visit to the US in July 2015 by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong.

Bilateral defence cooperation programmes will continue to be implemented effectively, especially the outcomes of the US visit in August 2017 by Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich and the Vietnam visit in January 2018 by US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, said Vinh.-VNA