|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (Right) receives US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung
HA NOI (VNS) — Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong yesterday reiterated the consistent stance of the Vietnamese Party and State on developing ties with the US for mutual benefit of both peoples.
Stronger Viet Nam-US ties would also promote peace, stability and development in the region and the world, he told US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Ha Noi.
Trong expressed pleasure at the progress made in bilateral multifaceted co-operation since the end of the war 40 years ago and over 20 years after normalisation of relations.
He praised US authorities, Congress, individuals and collectives for their support for post-war recovery efforts in Viet Nam, including the partnership between the Vietnamese Defence Ministry and the US Department of Defense in ordnance clearance, environmental detoxification, humanitarian assistance and search for remains of missing-in-action servicemen.
He said such activities should be continued to enhance mutual trust and understanding, and facilitating stronger bilateral defence ties.
Carter expressed the US's wish for closer links with Viet Nam, and agreed on the need to facilitate high-level exchange visits, including an upcoming trip to the US by the Vietnamese Party leader, which he described as a significant event.
Addressing the issue of security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation as well as recent developments in the East Sea, Carter briefed Trong on the outcomes of the recently-held Shangri-La Forum in Singapore.
The US supports the settlement of disputes through diplomatic means on the basis of respect to international law, he stressed.
|President Truong Tan Sang (Right) welcomes US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Ha Noi yesterday.
At a separate meeting yesterday, President Truong Tan Sang welcomed the first trip to Viet Nam by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, noting that it came in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
He called for an early conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the full lifting of a ban on weapon sales to Viet Nam.
Viet Nam looks to continue working with the US on humanitarian issues, he said.
Thanking the US for support in improving the capacity of Vietnamese search-and-rescue forces, Sang urged the US to provide all necessary assistance to Viet Nam in raising the capacity of its maritime law enforcement forces.
On the East Sea issue, he stressed that Viet Nam continually pursues the policy of building a prosperous, independent and self-reliant country, partnering with countries on the basis of solidarity and friendship.
He asserted that any dispute in the East Sea should be addressed via peaceful dialogues and respect to international law, especially the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, towards the formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Viet Nam wants countries to deliver on their promises at international forums, including the exercise of self-restraint and refraining from the use of force, he said.
The country has been steadfast in protesting strongly all actions that could change the status quo in the East Sea in violation of international laws, the President said.
Stressing that the irrelevance of China's self-claimed "nine-dot" line in the East Sea is complicating the issue, Sang said Viet Nam welcomed the support of all countries as well as the ASEAN stance on settling emerging issues in the East Sea.
Carter told Sang that US President Obama was looking forward to the upcoming visit by the Vietnamese Party chief, saying it would be a milestone event in the history of bilateral ties.
He said Viet Nam and the US shared similar positions on peace, security and maritime safety in the East Sea, adding that the two countries would discuss the issue further.
Viet Nam, US defence
|National Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh (Right) and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, held a joint press conference yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh held talks with visiting US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in Ha Noi yesterday, during which both sides agreed their defence co-operation had followed a MoU signed in 2011 between the two countries.
The Vietnamese Defence Minister praised the US defence chief's visit as both countries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the normalisation of bilateral relations.
Speaking to the media following their talks, Thanh said Viet Nam welcomed US efforts to help cope with the aftermath of the war.
During their talks, the two sides signed a joint vision statement on defence relations, defining the orientation for future bilateral affiliation on the foundation of the 2011 MoU.
Future defence collaboration will focus on searching for missing soldiers, dioxin detoxification, dealing with unexploded ordnance, exchanges of delegations, search and rescue, disaster relief, peace-keeping and maritime security, as well as training military medics and mutual co-operation at multilateral forums.
The document also targets deeper friendship, mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, while fostering the comprehensive partnership between Viet Nam and the US on the basis of respecting political institutions, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the law without harming the security of other states.
The US defence chief said both sides had agreed to deepen bilateral defence ties, laying the foundation for their partnership over the next 20 years. The signing of the statement would create the conditions for the two defence ministries to realise their commitments, he added.
|The two sides signed a joint vision statement on defence relations, defining the orientation for future bilateral affiliation on the foundation of the 2011 MoU. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc
This was a new step forward in the Viet Nam-US defence collaboration, especially in the area of maritime security, stated Carter.
On the other hand, the US and Viet Nam were working together to ensure peace and stability in the region, as well as in a broader range, he said.
The US would offer an US$18 million support package to Viet Nam's Coast Guard to buy patrol vessels, while assisting Viet Nam to build a peace-keeping training centre, he announced.
The US pledged to support a Viet Nam of independence, strength, prosperity and respect for human rights and the rule of law, he affirmed, adding that his country would continue working with Viet Nam to cope with problems left from the war.
Regarding the East Sea dispute, particularly the illegal construction of islands, Defence Minister Thanh reiterated Viet Nam's constant policy of settling sovereignty disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration on Conduct of Parties on the East Sea and taking no actions to expand or complicate disputes.
ASEAN member countries would make joint efforts with China towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, he said.
During his stay, the US Secretary of Defence also visited a number of Vietnamese military units. — VNS