|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives US Senators John McCain (centre) and Sheldon Whitehouse (left) during their visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung
HA NOI (VNS) — US-Viet Nam relations have come a long way since normalisation and are continuing to progress, US senators told Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at a reception in Ha Noi yesterday.
The Party leader was meeting a delegation from the US Senate, led by senators John McCain and Sheldon Whitehouse. They recommended several measures to boost bilateral co-operation, while affirming that the US Congress and Government wished to further relations based on an equal footing and mutual respect with Viet Nam in all fields and via different channels, including ties with the Communist Party.
The senators shared their assessments of the current situation in the world and the region, expressing concern about maritime navigation freedom and recent tensions in the East Sea. They were of the view that respect for international standards and law was necessary for all countries.
Trong expressed satisfaction at the positive developments in multi-faceted ties between Viet Nam and the US, particularly those recorded in the year since the two countries established a comprehensive partnership.
He reiterated that the Party and State of Viet Nam considered the US a partner of leading importance and backed the promotion of the Viet Nam-US relationship at all levels and in fields suitable with the interests of the two peoples as well as for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
Trong said he hoped the two countries would undertake measures to effectively implement their comprehensive partnership and to prepare for celebrations of the 20th anniversary of normalisation of bilateral ties in 2015.
Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung at a separate meeting said he hoped that the Viet Nam visit by the US senators, which started yesterday, would help further the partnership between the law-making bodies and people of Viet Nam and the US.
McCain is currently a member of the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services, while Whitehouse is a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on the Budget, Committee on Environment and Public Works and Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions.
Hung said the senators' visit was coming at a significant moment, as the security situation was increasingly complicated both regionally and globally.
He noted that with his extensive understanding of Viet Nam, McCain had made important contributions to Viet Nam – US co-operation since the two countries normalised their relations in 1995.
He also voiced hope that both sides would further the exchange of high-ranking delegations.
Highlighting joint achievements that the countries had attained, McCain said he and Whitehouse would ask the US Congress to lift the ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Viet Nam soon.
The senators also said they wished for closer partnership between the two countries, especially in security – defence, cyber security and hydro-power plant construction.
McCain added the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, set to be realised in the near future, would create an opportunity for development co-operation.
The two sides also discussed other matters of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue.
They expressed concern about China's serious violation of international law in the East Sea, which affected international maritime security and safety and threatened peace and stability in the region and the world.
Hung said Viet Nam always wanted to maintain peace, build friendship and expand co-operation with all countries around the world.
He thanked the visiting senators and their peers for taking concrete actions to support Viet Nam's stance on safeguarding the national sovereignty on the basis of international law to further regional and global peace and prosperity.
The same day, Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh also had a meeting with McCain, during which they agreed that the two countries should bolster co-operation in maritime security, navigation safety, personnel training and army exchange.
Thanh underlined various co-operative activities between the two countries in the field of defence, which he said had yielded practical results.
This co-operation has covered maritime security, search and rescue, disaster relief, bomb and mine removal and detoxification from Agent Orange/dioxin.
Most recently, the US shared with Viet Nam experience related to joining the United Nations peacekeeping force. — VNS