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Vietnam, US committed to fostering comprehensive partnership

Vietnam, US committed to fostering comprehensive partnership

Friday, July 03, 2015, 16:25 GMT+7

Visiting former U.S. President Bill Clinton has told his host in Hanoi that Washington highly appreciates and wishes to strengthen its comprehensive partnership with Vietnam. The former U.S. president made the statement during his meeting with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong on Thursday, according to the Vietnam News Agency. Clinton also hailed Vietnam’s achievements in socio-economic development and its higher position in the region and the world. He highlighted progress in bilateral relations, especially in the two-year implementation of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership established in 2013, and acknowledged the need to strengthen exchanges of high-ranking delegations. The former president also laid emphasis on the significance and historic meaning of the upcoming U.S. visit by General Secretary Trong, and wished the visit a success. General Secretary Trong highly valued the contributions made by the former president and his wife, Hillary Clinton, to the removal of the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam and the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He also affirmed the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy of appreciating and promoting the Vietnam-U.S. relations for the interests of the two peoples. He hailed the support of the Clinton Foundation for Vietnam’s efforts to alleviate poverty, address war aftermaths, and protect the environment.

On the same day, Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang had a meeting with the former U.S. president, during which the Vietnamese leader highly appreciated joint efforts by Hanoi and Washington in settling war consequences, expanding collaboration on defense and security, and realizing trade commitments.

President Sang praised the U.S. stance that East Vietnam Sea-related issues should be resolved through peaceful measures based on international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC).

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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (R, 1st) toasts with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R, 2nd), who is also a deputy prime minister, U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius (L,1st), and his spouse at the event to celebrate the 239th anniversary of the U.S. independence and the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Vietnam in Hanoi on July 2, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Clinton suggested that all parties involved respect each other, share responsibility, address disagreements through dialogue, and avoid any unilateral actions. The former U.S. president commented that after 20 years of normalized diplomatic ties, bilateral trade has seen positive growth, and that Vietnam has great potential for economic development.

He expressed his hope for the early completion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which he said will give Vietnam more advantages in its international economic integration. Yesterday, Clinton attended a ceremony in Hanoi to celebrate the 239th anniversary of Independence Day and the 20th anniversary of the normalization of Vietnam-U.S. diplomatic relations held by the U.S. Embassy. In a speech reviewing Vietnam-U.S. cooperation at the event, the former president described the normalization of relations as "one of the most important achievements of [his] presidency,” the Associated Press reported on Thursday. He also said the normalization helped "heal the wounds of war, build bonds of genuine friendship and provide proof in an increasingly divided world that cooperation was far better than conflict,” according to AP. “Vietnam had captured our imagination and taken up so much space in our spirit,” AP quoted Clinton as saying. During his presidency from 1993 to 2001, Clinton went down the path to restoring relations, first lifting Washington's veto on multilateral aid, then ending the U.S. trade embargo, and finally on July 11, 1995, announcing normalization of relations, AP said.

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