Updated  
December, 17 2013 08:36:00

Viet Nam, US pledge closer ties ahead of new trade pact

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh meets US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ha Noi yesterday.—VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI (VNS)— The United States should show greater flexibility in working with Viet Nam on TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) negotiations, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said yesterday.

In talks held with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, Minh said Viet Nam attaches great importance to developing relations with the US.

He proposed that the two sides increase exchange visits by delegations of officials at different levels, ministries and sectors.

In their talks, Minh and Kerry discussed measures to enhance the comprehensive partnership that both countries have established in different fields.

Minh welcomed the US's grant of US$4.2 million to help improve Viet Nam's capacity in the TPP negotiation process and urged greater technical support to facilitate its implementation as well.

He also proposed that the US Government opens its door wider for Vietnamese farm produce and limit anti-dumping and anti-subsidy moves against Vietnamese exporters.

The two countries should strengthen co-operation in science and technology, education and training and healthcare, Minh said.

Like other national leaders, Minh urged the US to make greater efforts in helping Viet Nam deal with war consequences including the search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in action.

Kerry reciprocated Minh's sentiments on the importance of US-Viet Nam bilateral relations, saying the comprehensive partnership established by the two sides was important and meaningful.

The two leaders discussed measures to increase bilateral co-operation at regional and international forums and affirmed they would work together towards ensuring peace, stability and co-operation in the East Sea, as also maritime and aviation safety and security.—VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat

He reiterated the US attached great importance to its relations with Viet Nam under its general policy for the Asia-Pacific region.

Kerry hailed the progress made so far in the TPP negotiations and affirmed that the US would soon complete internal procedures to sign the "123 Agreement" (on co-operation in using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes) with Viet Nam.

The US would also increase support for Viet Nam in dealing with Agent Orange impacts and clearing UXOs, he said.

He also promised increased support for Viet Nam on the issue of ensuring security of the Mekong River's water resources via the Lower Mekong Initiative.

He noted that the US has already pledged funding of USD17 million to help Viet Nam cope with climate change impacts.

The two leaders discussed measures to increase bilateral co-operation at regional and international forums and affirmed they would work together towards ensuring peace, stability and co-operation in the East Sea, as also maritime and aviation safety and security.

They reiterated their firm belief in the peaceful resolution of East Sea disputes in line with relevant international laws.

Party leader calls

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong  receives US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ha Noi yesterday.—VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung

The United States should increase multi-faceted co-operation with Viet Nam and continue efforts to address consequences of the American War, including the search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in action, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said yesterday while recieving Kerry.

Trong said both countries should work to strengthen ties in economy, trade, investment, science, education, healthcare and climate change adaptation.

Trong told Kerry that the US is seen as an important partner.

Trong applauded the active role played by the US Secretary of State over the past years to facilitate normalisation of Viet Nam-US ties as well as promoting friendship, co-operation and mutual understanding between the two nations.

For his part, Kerry told the Party leader that the US wished to increase multi-faceted co-operation with Viet Nam and effectively implement the comprehensive partnership established between the two countries since July this year.

He hoped that the two sides would work harder to develop bilateral relations in economy, trade, education, training, science and technology.

‘Real conditions'

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung receives US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

Receiving the US Secretary of State the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Kerry's visit would actively promote the bilateral co-operation.

Assuring that Viet Nam would work closely with the US on the TPP negotiations, Dung proposed that the latter considers the "real conditions" of Viet Nam during negotiation process.

He made particular note of Viet Nam's need for greater access to the garments and textiles as well as footwear markets in the US.

On the issue of human rights, Dung said Viet Nam and the US have established dialogue mechanisms to tackle issues in a constructive manner and not let it hinder the growth of bilateral relations.

Dung asked the US to reduce barriers in bilateral trade relations, saying it should also accord full market economy recognition to Viet Nam very soon

On the East Sea issue, Dung appreciated the US's backing of ASEAN's and Viet Nam's stance on dealing with disputes in the area by peaceful means and in accordance with international law.

Positive response

Kerry responded positively to Dung's proposals, pledging greater support and assistance for Viet Nam's climate change adaptation efforts as well as efforts to address war consequences.

He said successful negotiation of the TPP would be an important development in promoting co-operative relations between the US and Viet Nam, particularly in trade, commerce and investment.

Kerry said the US was also interested in co-operating with Viet Nam inn ensuring maritime security and safety and free shipping in the East Sea.

The US Secretary of State echoed Viet Nam's view that all disputes in the East Sea should be dealt with peacefully on the basis of international laws.

Historic UXO pact signed

Viet Nam and the US yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral co-operation to overcome the consequences of unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over by the American War in Viet Nam.

This is the first MoU signed between the two sides in this field.

The MoU aims to set up long-term mechanisms to boost humanitarian co-operation in dealing with the UXO problem through a range of activities including exchange visits, information exchange, training, technical and financial support, and international involvement.

The document was signed by Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Bui Hong Linh, who is also Deputy Chief of the National Steering Committee dealing with UXOs leftover from the war, and US Ambassador David Shear. — VNS

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