KHANH HOA — US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta yesterday said Viet Nam-US relations still held a lot of potential for further development as he was on board a Navy supply ship, the USNS Richard E. Byrd, currently anchored in Khanh Hoa Province's Cam Ranh Bay.
Speaking to the media, Panetta said his working visit to Viet Nam this time was to deepen military ties with the country based on the military co-operation agreement reached between nations last year.
Accordingly, both sides have agreed to co-operate in search and maritime rescue efforts, disaster relief, security, maritime safety and freedom.
Panetta also thanked the Vietnamese Government for its efforts to search for the remains of US troops missing during the war.
He is scheduled to meet with senior officials today, including Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh, and pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Panetta's visit came after he announced at the Shangri-La Dialogue, which ended yesterday in Singapore, that 60 per cent of US Navy warships would be stationed in the Asia Pacific in the next decade. — VNS