President Obama: no country can decide sovereign Vietnam’s fate

(VOVworld) – US President Barack Obama delivered his remarks to approximately 2,000 people at the National Convention Center in Hanoi on Tuesday.

President Obama: no country can decide sovereign Vietnam’s fate - ảnh 1

Opening his remarks, he thanked the leaders and people of Vietnam for their warm welcome and said he had tried some of Hanoi’s delicious foods during a visit to Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Citing some old Vietnamese verses President Obama said Vietnam is an independent, sovereign nation and no other nation can impose its will on Vietnam or decide its destiny. He stressed the importance of bilateral ties, overcoming the pains of the past and looking towards a brighter future: “We continue to assist Vietnamese with disabilities, including children. We also continue to help remove agent orange/dioxin, so that Vietnam can reclaim more of their land. But also, not forget that the reconciliation between our countries was led by our veterans who once faced each other in battles. Think of Senator John McCain, who said our countries should not be enemies but friends. Think of all the veterans, Vietnamese and American, who help us heal and build new ties. Few of them, former Navy Lieutenant, and now Secretary of State for the United States, John Kerry, is also here today. Today Vietnam and the US are partners. At a time with many conflicts, seem as if they will never end, we’ve shown that hearts can change, and that different future is possible when we refuse to be prisoners of the past. We’ve shown how peace can be better than war.”

President Obama called the Vietnam War a big lesson for the world where foes become friends and partners. He reaffimed the US’s commitment to Vietnam’s prosperity and development, especially to supporting Vietnam’s participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. The President voiced his view about maritime security in the East Sea: The international order upon which our mutual security depends is rooted in certain rules and norms. National sovereignty, no matter how large or small a nation may be, its sovereignty should be respected and its territory should not be violated. Big nations should not bully smaller ones. Disputes should be resolved peacefully and regional institutions like ASEAN and the East Sea Summit should continue to be strengthened. The South China Sea, we’ll stand with our partners in upholding core principles like freedom of navigation and over flight.”

President Obama cited the US’s removal of lethal weapon sales ban following his talks with President Tran Dai Quang on Monday as a symbol of complete normalization of bilateral relations. The US will continue to support Vietnam in fostering maritime security and safety, anti-piracy and search and rescue operations at sea.

The President encouraged young people’s start-up inspiration, saying that the number of Vietnamese students studying in the US was the highest in Southeast Asia. The US commits to support Vietnam’s education and offer more scholarships to young people and scholars. He cited a verse from Nguyen Du’s poem to remind the audience of his speech moment as a symbol of trust.   

On Tuesday afternoon, the Air Force One arrived in Tan Son Nhat airport. He was welcomed by Ho Chi Minh City’s officials before visiting a local pagoda and joining an official welcoming ceremony.