Viet Nam News
Washington D.C – Defence Minister Gen. Ngô Xuân Lịch held talks with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Washington DC on Tuesday following a welcome ceremony the same day.
Lịch, who is on a visit to the US from August 7-10, said Việt Nam considers the US one of its most important partners and always prioritises the development of bilateral ties based on the principles of equality, respect for political regimes, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country.
He spoke highly of the US’s collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guard in law enforcement at sea as well as in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The two officials hailed the outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral defence ties covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities.
They agreed to reinforce coordination under signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery efforts in Việt Nam, response to non-traditional security challenges and the UN peacekeeping activities.
On the subject of dioxin clean-up in contaminated areas, Lịch said the two sides have concluded the first stage of the Đà Nẵng airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are also conducting studies to launch a similar project at Biên Hòa airport in the southern province of Đồng Nai.
Host and guest also talked about the upcoming Việt Nam visit by a US aircraft carrier, saying that agencies concerned will further discuss the trip when the carrier meets the necessary technical requirements.
Mattis, for his part, lauded Việt Nam for its effective joint efforts in seeking the remains of US servicemen listed as Missing in Action (MIA) during the war.
He pledged continued support to Việt Nam in seeking the remains of Vietnamese soldiers missing in the war and cleaning up the traces of dioxin at Biên Hòa airport.
On the occasion, Lịch handed over a new document on the locations of searches for the remains of MIA servicemen to the host, making it easier for both sides to continue the effort. In the afternoon on the same day, Lịch visited the US Coast Guard.— VNS