Update: January, 26/2018 - 09:56
President Trần Đại Quang (r) receives US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Hà Nội yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam values its comprehensive relations with the US on the basis of respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions, President Trần Đại Quang told visiting US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in Hà Nội yesterday. 

Lauding the US minister’s official visit, President Quang expressed his belief that the trip will contribute to developing Việt Nam-US relations more practically, in line with their comprehensive partnership for peace, prosperity and the development of each country.

The State leader noted with pleasure that the bilateral defence co-operation efforts have been marked by a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2011, a Joint Vision Statement on defence ties signed in 2015, an action plan for 2018-2020 and agreements reached by senior leaders. 

The President affirmed that Việt Nam will fully and effectively co-operate with the US in searching for the remains of American missing-in-action soldiers. 

President Quang asked the US to coordinate with Việt Nam in carrying out a dioxin decontamination project at Biên Hòa Airport, to deliver the next Hamilton-class patrol vessel to Việt Nam in 2019 and to support Việt Nam in launching a level-2 field hospital to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in 2018. 

The two sides should work together closely in organising the visit to Việt Nam by a US aircraft carrier in March 2018, while strengthening collaboration in search, rescue and natural disaster response activities, law enforcement at sea, personnel training, military medicine and defence industry ties, he said. 

Mattis said that the US attaches great importance to the comprehensive partnership with Việt Nam and will work with Việt Nam in boosting cooperation in all fields. 

Holding that the defence cooperation between the two countries is growing effectively, he said that the US is working hard, together with Vietnam, to deal with the legacy of the war, such as through dioxin decontamination and searching for missing US servicemen. 

Regarding regional and international matters, the minister affirmed that the US will support Vietnam’s active role in ASEAN as well as in multilateral forums within the ASEAN framework. 

The US will continue backing  Việt Nam and regional countries in observing the rights to freedom of navigation and aviation in line with international law for common prosperity, Mattis said. 

President Quang said he was delighted at the positive and practical progress of  Việt Nam-US relations in all bilateral, regional and international aspects, and welcomed the U.S. commitment to long-term cooperation for peace, stability and development in the Indo-Pacific region. 

President Quang suggested the two sides continue consulting and coordinating closely with each other at multilateral forums, especially those chaired by the ASEAN. 

The President also praised the US for its effective cooperation and assistance to Việt Nam forces joining UN peacekeeping operations in the past few years, suggesting that the two sides continue working together. — VNS