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US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Vietnam for defense dialogue

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 15:39 GMT+7
US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Vietnam for defense dialogue
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Puneet Talwar is seen in this profile photo posted on the U.S. Department of State's website.

Assistant Secretary of State Puneet Talwar, who is in charge of political-military affairs, will discuss bilateral cooperation in maritime security with Vietnam during a six-day visit starting January 22 to Hanoi and Singapore, the U.S. Department of State announced Wednesday (American time).

In Hanoi, the assistant secretary will lead the U.S. delegation to the seventh U.S.-Vietnam Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue at a time when the United States and Vietnam celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations, according to a media note on the Department of State’s website.

“The talks will highlight the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership and our continued commitment to the region,” the State Department said.

The dialogue will focus on bilateral cooperation in maritime security, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, criminal justice and law enforcement sector cooperation, and regional security, according to the department.

Assistant Secretary Talwar will also deliver remarks on U.S.-Vietnam security cooperation at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

In Singapore, he will attend the Fullerton Forum, a conference on Asia-Pacific security issues sponsored by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, according to the State Department.

He will also meet with senior civilian and military officials from Singapore and across the region to discuss regional security, maritime security, and defense trade.

Talwar’s visit to Vietnam and Singapore lasts from January 22 to 27, according to a schedule given on the department’s website.

The media note did not elaborate on whether Talwar will visit Vietnam or Singapore first and how many days he will stay in each country. 

The sixth U.S.-Vietnam Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue took place in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2013, following an announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang in July that year about the establishment of a new comprehensive partnership between the two nations.

During the dialogue, the United States and Vietnam reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening their bilateral relationship based on friendship, mutual respect, and shared commitments to ensure a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and secure Asia-Pacific region, according to a joint statement released after the talks.

Puneet Talwar was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on April 9, 2014, according to his profile on the State Department’s website.

Assistant Secretary Talwar manages several critical components of U.S. foreign policy, including the maintenance of the State Department’s global security relationships, the provision of international security assistance, the negotiation of international security agreements, and the implementation of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative.

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