The 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the US in 2015 presents an occasion to further their relations, stated US President Barack Obama while receiving the newly-accredited Vietnamese Ambassador, Pham Quang Vinh, on February 23.

The bilateral comprehensive partnership established during State President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the US in July, 2013 created a framework for reinforcing the affiliation between the two nations, especially in economics, security, maritime capacity, climate change response and environmental protection, education, and human rights, he said.

Noting that Vietnam-US ties have seen impressive growth over the past two decades, President Obama said the US hopes to bolster the relationship both bilaterally and regionally, including collaborating on the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the promotion of common interests in stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

The US President also expressed his hope that the two nations will continue strengthening their friendship and mutual understanding, while addressing their differences in an open and straightforward manner.

For his part, the Vietnamese ambassador highlighted the value of the economic partnership in the growing bilateral ties, as the US is now the leading partner and export market for Vietnam with trade reaching 36 billion USD in 2014.

Meanwhile, affiliation in science and technology also saw a breakthrough with the effective civil nuclear cooperation agreement, he said, adding that partnership in education and interpersonal exchange have expanded with over 16,500 Vietnamese students studying in the US, the highest number among the ASEAN countries in the North American nation.

Bilateral defence-security cooperation has also strengthened with the US loosening its weapon trade embargo with Vietnam, said the diplomat. He also noted that both countries have effectively collaborated at multilateral forums in the region and internationally.

Looking forward, the two sides will look to cooperate in politics, defence, security, science and technology, education and interpersonal exchange, said the ambassador.

He held that both sides share a common strategic interest in the successful development of the ASEAN Community and promotion of the association’s central role in shaping regional structures.

Vietnam and the US should also work closely in regional forums, including the East Asia Summit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, the Lower Mekong Initiative, and United Nations forums, he suggested.

The ambassador also took the occasion to convey State President Truong Tan Sang’s open invitation to President Obama to visit Vietnam this year, proposing that both sides prepare for Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to the US in the coming time.-VNA