HA NOI — Viet Nam considers the US to be one of its leading partners and wants to bring the two countries' relations to a new height.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the statement yesterday while receiving a group of four US Senators, led by Senator John McCain.
Dung underlined the need for both sides to co-operate further in the fields of economics, trade and investment.
The PM proposed that the US Senators urge their government to recognise Viet Nam's market economy and grant the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to Viet Nam.
He also suggested both countries co-operate in dealing with the consequences of the war, particularly with Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and proposed that the US assist Viet Nam in coping with climate change and rising sea levels.
The US Senators, who are on a three-day visit to Viet Nam that ends today, voiced their support for both countries to improve on bilateral ties. They advocated for a strategic partnership and increased up co-operation in many areas, including trade, education and training and humanitarianism.
They also promised to encourage their government to promptly recognise Viet Nam's market economy, grant the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to Viet Nam and assist the country in overcoming the aftermath of the war.
At a reception for McCain the same day, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that in addition to trade and investment, Viet Nam and the US need to promote co-operation in the fields of science, technology, culture, tourism, environmental protection, defence and security.
The Vietnamese NA is willing to co-operate with the US Congress to promote co-operative programmes between the two countries, Hung said.
He stressed the need to promote exchange between the two countries' legislators at parliamentary forums in the region and the world, creating more favourable conditions for interpersonal dialogue and increased understanding between the two nations.
McCain said he hopes the two legislative bodies will further strengthen co-operation and share their experience in law building and the supervision of national projects.
He also expressed a strong interest in Viet Nam's development as well as its socio-economic achievements in the near future.
At a reception hosted by Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh the same day, McCain said he appreciated the achievements made by Viet Nam in past years and expressed his approval with the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Minister Minh expressed thanks for the support of the US Government in general, and the US Senator in particular, for development in Viet Nam.
The two sides discussed co-operation between the two countries and other issues of common concern.
At a reception by Minister of National Defence Phung Quang Thanh the same day, McCain said the co-operation between the two countries had made considerable progress in recent years, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral national defence co-operation at the deputy ministerial level.
He said he would try his best to contribute to boosting the ties between the two countries.
For his part, Thanh said national defence relations between Viet Nam and the US had recorded new progresses in the fields of delegation exchanges, training, army medical, search and rescue and overcoming war aftermaths.— VNS