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Vietnam deputy foreigner minister names four achievements from Obama visit

Friday, May 27, 2016, 17:33 GMT+7

U.S. President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to Vietnam was a successful trip which resulted in four achievements for the two countries, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc said Wednesday.

President Obama and members of his delegation were satisfied with the reception from Vietnam’s top leaders and the hospitality of the Vietnamese people, Ngoc told reporters in Hanoi after the U.S. leaderwrapped up his visit and left Ho Chi Minh City that afternoon.

“President Obama said he was really moved and the love from the Vietnamese people touched his heart,” Ngoc said, citing Obama’s words before he entered Air Force One for a flight to Japan.

Vietnam and the U.S. established a comprehensive partnership in 2013, and the May 22-25 visit of President Obama constituted four outstanding achievements of that partnership, the Vietnamese deputy minister underlined.

In the field of politics and foreign affairs, the two nations issued a joint statement, in which both sides are committed to working together to advance comprehensive partnership in an effective and sustainable manner, for the interests of both countries as well as for regional and international peace, stability, cooperation, and development.

Vietnam and the U.S. have also agreed to have cooperation and development serve as the backbone of bilateral relations in the future, Ngoc said.

The achievement in the field of security and defense, according to the deputy minister, is that Obama announced during the visit that the U.S. will fully lift the U.S. ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam. Ngoc added that the two sides have also agreed to enhance security and defense cooperation in such fields as war legacy, maritime security, and disaster relief.

Finally, after Obama’s trip, Vietnam and the U.S. are committed to addressing regional and global challenges, including the East Vietnam Sea dispute, climate change, sustainable development, peacekeeping, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Ngoc said.

As for the East Vietnam Sea issues, the two nations reaffirmed their stances as stated in the Sunnylands Declaration, released during the U.S.-ASEAN Special Leaders' Summit in February 2016.

“These achievements are results of major effort from both sides,” the deputy minister said.

Ngoc added that it is also the result of Vietnam’s policy of ‘rising above the past, overcoming differences, promoting shared interests, and looking towards the future,’ a message Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong sent to Obama during their July 2015 White House meeting.

President Obama arrived in Hanoi late Sunday and came to Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday afternoon.

In Hanoi, Obama met with Vietnam’s top leaders, including State President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and head of Vietnam’s legislature Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

President Obama joined his Vietnamese counterpart in a conference on Monday, during which he announced the U.S. will fully lift anembargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam. The U.S. head of state also paid a visit to the residence of late President Ho Chi Minh City, ate the flagship Hanoi noodle bun cha for dinner, and delivered a great speech in front of more than 2,000 Vietnamese before leaving for Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

Upon arrival to the southern metropolis, Obama visited a century-old pagoda and attended an entrepreneurship event, where he emceed a talk with three outstanding Vietnamese entrepreneurs. Obama continued to inspire the YSALI leaders before his departure on Wednesday afternoon.

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