Vietnam regards US as leading partner in foreign policy: President hinh anh 1President Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a reception for US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin in Hanoi on July 29 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – President Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin in Hanoi on July 29, during which the former affirmed that Vietnam always considers the US as a leading partner in its foreign policy and wants to further develop bilateral cooperative ties in areas of mutual interest.

The Vietnamese leader thanked the US for giving valuable and timely support to Vietnam in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially its donation of 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Vietnam hopes to receive more assistance from the US in accessing more COVID-19 vaccine supplies to speed up the country’s vaccination campaign, he said

President Phuc underlined the significance of promoting defence cooperation between the two countries, adding that Vietnam expects close coordination from the US in settling war aftermath, MIA search, bomb and mine clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification as well as search and rescue operations, humanitarian relief and disaster mitigation.

Vietnam also expects the US to assist the country in United Nations peacekeeping operations, he added.

The Vietnamese leader pledged to create optimal conditions for the two defence ministries to foster collaboration in areas in which both sides have demand.

Vietnam hopes that the US will further deepen its partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for peace and prosperity in the region and the world, President Phuc added.

For his part, Austin said that the US wants to continue witnessing Vietnam’s prosperity and strong development, and to cooperate with Vietnamese agencies more closely and effectively in the future.

The US side will continue to partner with Vietnam in developing COVID-19 vaccines, and will do its best to support Vietnam in pandemic prevention and control, he stated.

Austin affirmed that the US will continue to strengthen collaboration with Vietnam in settling war aftermath and assist the Southeast Asian nation in dealing with Agent Orange/dioxin consequences, especially through the project to detoxify dioxin at Bien Hoa airport, thus building and reinforcing mutual trust.

Asserting that the US and Vietnam can expand their cooperation to areas where the two nations hold potential, Austin proposed the two sides consider lifting bilateral ties to a strategic partnership in the future.

He also affirmed that the US will continue to foster ties with ASEAN in maintaining peace and security in the region, and commit to  build a stronger and better relations with countries in the region.

On the occasion, President Phuc asked Austin to convey his regards to US President Joe Biden and expressed his hope that President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Vietnam in the coming time./.