Boosting Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership

(VOVworld)- On Monday, US President Barack Obama began a 3-day official visit to Vietnam. This is the third visit by a US President to Vietnam since the two countries normalized their ties in 1995, and Obama’s first visit.
Boosting Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership - ảnh 1
President Barack Obama begins an official visit to Vietnam

On July 12, 1995, US President Bill Clinton and Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet announced the normalization of the Vietnam-US relationship opening a new chapter. Since then, the relationship has expanded and deepened.

Great strides in 20 years of normalized ties

Over the past 20 years, the relationship between Vietnam and the US has progressed in all fields, becoming more practical, effective and stable. Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said: “Bilateral ties have progressed in all fields. Two-way trade has soared to 45 billion USD, a 20-fold increase from 20 years ago. During President Obama’s tenure, the two countries signed a comprehensive partnership framework in 2013 and adopted a Vietnam-US Joint Vision Statement in 2015, when Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid a historic visit to the US. The agreements created a foundation and opportunities to further bilateral ties”.

Vietnam and the US have enhanced cooperation in addressing war aftermaths and promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world. In June, 2015, the US Secretary of Defense and the Vietnamese Minister of National Defense signed a Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam-US Defense Cooperation which covers increasing policy dialogue and consultation, addressing war aftermaths including searching for soldiers missing in action, dioxin detoxification, dealing with unexploded ordnance, strengthening UN peacekeeping activities, sharing experience in disaster relief, search and rescue, and ensuring maritime security based on international law and the laws of each country. Education and training are among the key aspects of bilateral cooperation.

Vietnam and the US have fostered coordination in organizations and multilateral forums of which they are members including the UN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus, and in issues relating to maritime security, the East Sea, strengthening solidarity and ASEAN’s central role, and boosting the US-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. They have maintained annual dialogues on human rights to prevent differences from undermining their ties.

The visit creates a new step forward in Vietnam- US ties

Recent tension in the East Sea is one of the major topics that President Barack Obama will discuss with Vietnamese leaders during his visit. The US President has made clear his viewpoint concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime freedom in the East Sea. Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh said: “Ensuring peace, stability, navigation safety and security and not complicating the situation by violating international law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea are major concerns of Vietnam, the US, and ASEAN”.

The future of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, to which Vietnam and the US are signatories, is one of the main topics of President Obama’s visit. The agreement still needs approval from the US Congress. US Senator John McCain told VOV prior to Obama’s visit: “I’m afraid that it will not most likely be ratified this year. I believe that no matter who is presiding the US, whoever party it is, we will say that the normalization of relation between our two countries was an important step forward, not only in our relationship, but for the healing of the wound of Vietnamese and American veterans who fought in that conflict”

During his visit, the US President announced that the US officially lifted the lethal weapon ban on Vietnam. The removal will prove the complete normalization of Vietnam-US ties. It will also enhance trust between and open new opportunities for the two countries.

US President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam will consolidate and strengthen the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership. With Vietnam and the US agreeing to put the past behind them and look toward the future, the two countries are expected to build on what they achieved during 20 years of normalization of bilateral ties.