PM calls for stronger relations with the US
HA NOI — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday asked the United States for more co-operation with Viet Nam on politics, the economy, education - and in response to climate change.
Dung told US Senator Jim Webb, who is on official working visit to Viet Nam, that to make the most of existing ties in those four fields, America should lift any embargoes on Vietnamese goods, especially seafood (catfish, shrimp).
He said this would help improve lives in Viet Nam.
Dung also asked the US Government to increase the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in America - and for US universities to set up in Viet Nam.
Webb's visit coincides with the celebration of the 15th anniversary of Viet Nam-US diplomatic ties.
Webb has been chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for many years.
Dung said he was pleased that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum in Ha Noi later this month.
And he hoped President Barack Obama would take part in the ASEAN-US summit to be held in Ha Noi later this year.
The visiting senator said he had witnessed the fast development of Viet Nam and relations between Viet Nam and US.
He believed the relationship would continue to grow and said he would help promote co-operation in economics, trade, investment, education and training.
Viet Nam, the ASEAN chair this year, is organising ASEAN ministerial meetings on July 19-23. They include the second Lower Mekong-US ministerial meeting.
Webb said the US would develop a tentative working programme on climate change with each country in the region, including Viet Nam.
Voicing concerns about recent conflicts in the East Sea, the visiting senator said the two countries should remain peaceful and provide navigation security in line with international laws.
Any conflicts, he said, should be settled through negotiation, not with arms and threat of using arms. Webb said the US supported the idea of ASEAN seeking a long-term solution to the conflict by strictly following the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
Deputy chair of the National Assembly Nguyen Duc Kien said Viet Nam highly valued its co-operative relationship with the United States and hoped it would continue to grow. He made the comment during his reception with Webb yesterday.
Webb said he had witnessed rapid changes in Viet Nam every time he visited.
He said he was impressed with the development of bilateral relations and believed they would be strengthened.
Kien suggested the two countries collaborate more on economics, trade and investment. He also hoped that the US Houses would create a favourable environment for Vietnamese exports.
The NA's deputy chair also said that the two countries should accelerate their collaboration in projects related to climate change and rising sea levels. Kien also showed his appreciation towards American efforts on solving remaining cases related to agent orange/dioxin and mine clearance in Viet Nam.
The American senator said that he was very impressed with the yield and size of several catfish manufacturers that he had visited in Can Tho.
Webb showed his interest in the Mekong Delta and its population sizes and the effects of hydroelectric plants being built in the area. — VNS