PM receives U.S. Secretary of Defense
16:13 | 29/07/2021

VGP – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on July 29 hosted a reception for U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who is on a two-day official visit to Viet Nam. 

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) hosts a reception for U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ha Noi, July 29, 2021 - Photo: VGP/Nhat Bac

At the reception, the PM welcomed the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s visit, expressing his hope that it would help promote the bilateral defense cooperation, thus contributing to furthering the Viet Nam-U.S. relations. 

He expected to boost the comprehensive partnership with the U.S. on the basis of mutual interest and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world. 

Viet Nam sticks to its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multi-lateralization and diversification of external relations, proactive and active international integration, being a good friend, trusted partner and responsible member of the international community, Pham assured.

He said Viet Nam welcomes and expects to strengthen cooperation with the U.S. in such fields like trade, investment, climate change adaption, science-technology, education and training, infrastructure development, and renewable energy. 

The Vietnamese leader lauded the U.S. Department of Treasury and the State Bank of Viet Nam for having reached an agreement pertaining to monetary policy, calling on both sides to strictly implement it in the time ahead. 

Pham took the occasion to express thanks to the U.S. Administration for donating COVID-19 vaccine and medical equipment to Viet Nam via COVAX Facility and via bilateral channel, hoping that the U.S. would continue sharing its vaccines with Viet Nam and facilitating transfer of vaccine production technology to Viet.  

Regarding defense cooperation, the Government chief spoke highly of the outcomes of the talks between the two defense ministers, especially in the settlement of war consequences, United Nations peacekeeping activities and improvement of maritime law enforcement. 

Pham suggested the two sides continue fostering collaboration in addressing war consequences, including the dioxin decontamination project at Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai and other localities. 

He asked the American side to enhance humanitarian support for the Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange/dioxin while affirming that Viet Nam will join hands with the U.S. in searching for American soldiers missing in action (MIA) in the Southeast Asian country.

Viet Nam will also create favorable conditions for the defense ministries to strengthen exchanges to improve mutual understanding, consolidate trust and enhance cooperation for mutual benefits, he said.

For his side, Austin reiterated that the U.S. attaches importance to the comprehensive partnership with Viet Nam, advocating a strong, independent and prosperous Viet Nam.

He voiced support for Viet Nam to play an increasingly active role in ASEAN and UN Security Council. 

The U.S. will continue assisting Viet Nam in overcoming war consequences, including search for the remains of Vietnamese martyrs, decontamination of dioxin as well as bomb and mine clearance, the U.S. Secretary of Defense affirmed. 

The U.S. will also assist Viet Nam in improving maritime security capacity and taking part in the UN peacekeeping force, he said, adding that Viet Nam and other nations will soon receive more vaccine from the U.S. to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Both sides also discussed on regional and international issues of shared concerns, underscoring the importance of ensuring peace, freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, thus contributing to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. 

By Thuy Dung

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