|Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh (left) shakes hands with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo during his trip to the US in May last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Đặng Huyền|
HÀ NỘI — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make an official visit to Việt Nam on Thursday and Friday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Wednesday.
The trip is made at the invitation of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh, as the two countries this year celebrate the 25th anniversary of the normalisation of bilateral ties (July 11, 1995 – July 11, 2020).
Pompeo will be the fourth foreign minister to visit Việt Nam this year, following the trip by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, and Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjártó last month, rare exceptions to the country's strict border restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The US is currently Việt Nam's fourth-largest trade partner, with bilateral trade increasing 170-fold since 1995 to an estimated figure of US$80 billion for 2020.
With US Defence Secretary Mark Esper in his entourage, the US diplomat is on a five-day Asia tour to reinforce ties with its Asian partners in push for free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific, starting with a trip to India on Monday. — VNS