|State President Truong Tan Sang receives former US President Bill Clinton in HCM City yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS)— President Truong Tan Sang yesterday hosted a reception for former US President Bill Clinton in Ha Noi.
Viet Nam is among Clinton's stopovers during a trip to five Asia-Pacific countries to promote the operation of a HIV/AIDS Prevention Foundation named after him.
Sang thanked Clinton and his wife Hilary Clinton for their contributions to Viet Nam-US relations while they were in office as well as at present through the Clinton Foundation.
Sang said he hoped to welcome President Barack Obama to Viet Nam, hopefully to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.
Hailing the presence of US big companies in Viet Nam, including oil and gas firms, Sang said Viet Nam would create the best possible conditions for US investors.
He called on the US to lift the ban on lethal weapon sales to Viet Nam, which he said was important to demonstrate mutual trust and the full normalisation of bilateral ties.
Sang also thanked the US for helping Viet Nam clean up dioxin in contaminated areas, and expressed hope that the programme would continue on a large scale in Viet Nam's southern region.
He welcomed the US Senate's resolution protesting against China's positioning of oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in the East Sea. He also thanked the US Government, Congress, politicians, scholars and public opinion for their strong voice in the case.
Clinton took note of Sang's suggestions, including the lifting of the ban on lethal weapon sales. He said both nations needed to work more closely together to deal with the aftermath of the war, adding that in any position, he would do his best to promote friendly cooperation between the two countries.
The former President told Sang that he was keen to learn about the treatment of HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant malaria in Viet Nam.
The same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also welcomed Bill Clinton in the capital.
Extolling the HIV/AIDS foundation's practical and charitable activities in Viet Nam, Dung said the Vietnamese Government always supported its operation.
He thanked the former US leader for his great support in normalising the relations between the two countries.
Clinton said that the Clinton Foundation would give maximum assistance to Viet Nam to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infections. It was also willing to work with local agencies and businesses to produce HIV/AIDS medicines in Viet Nam.
The Clinton Foundation has mobilised over VND40 million for Viet Nam since 2006. — VNS