|Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc.
HA NOI (VNS) — A bilateral conference on Viet Nam-US relationships opened in Ha Noi yesterday on the theme For 20 more successful years.
In a keynote speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc said the relationship had travelled a long and hard journey to reach its present stage.
"Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1995, our two countries have succeeded in transforming ourselves from enemies to friends, and then to ‘comprehensive partners'," said Ngoc.
He said the reflection on the past two decades could serve as a starting point for contemplating a vision for the next 20 years of co-operation.
According to him, the framework of "comprehensive partnership" should be considered a solid runway for the Viet Nam-US relationship to take off and fly into the next decades of the 21st century.
He said it should be developed into a comprehensive partnership of substance, efficiency and strategic importance.
"Closer economic links could serve as strong bonds connecting our two nations, and they should be considered both the goals and the dynamics of our relationship," he said.
The deputy FM noted that the bilateral partnership was now mature enough to advance far beyond the bilateral realm into regional and global areas, thus forming a tripod platform for the relationship to forge ahead.
He said Viet Nam was expected to play a more pro-active role on the global stage in the next 20 years, thus hoping to share greater responsibility with the regional and global community in preserving peace, stability and prosperity, respecting international law and regional agreements, resolving disputes through peaceful means and refraining from the use of force.
"Viet Nam welcomes the United States' greater role in the region, and we believe that US deeper engagement in the Asia-Pacific is beneficial to all. In this direction, our two countries need to support the centrality of ASEAN in constructing the regional architecture, assisting ASEAN in strengthening ASEAN-led multilateral institutions, especially the East Asian Summit," the deputy FM said.
US Ambassador to Viet Nam Ted Osius noted that the conference was the start of a series of activities throughout 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of US-Viet Nam diplomatic relations.
He said the conference was an opportunity for both sides to discuss measures to enhance the US-Viet Nam comprehensive partnership.
The Ambassador expressed his hope that US business and investment activities in Viet Nam would expand further.
In addition, he said the US Government was interested in establishing US universities meeting international standards in Viet Nam.
The bilateral conference was organised by the Diplomatic Academy under the Foreign Affairs Ministry in collaboration with the US Embassy in Ha Noi, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and the University of Portland.
Viet Nam and the US established diplomatic relationship on July 12, 1995, and exchanged their first ambassadors in July, 1997. — VNS