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​Defense ministers of Russia, US to visit Vietnam this month

​Defense ministers of Russia, US to visit Vietnam this month

Friday, January 19, 2018, 16:00 GMT+7

The defense ministers of Russia and the U.S. will pay back-to-back visits to Vietnam later this month in a demonstration of the Southeast Asian nation’s growing role in international politics.

Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu will visit Vietnam from January 23 to 24 while U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will be in the country between January 24 and 26, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense.

General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnamese defense minister, will receive his Russian and American counterparts on the 23th and 25th of January, respectively, at the headquarters of Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense in Hanoi.

Dr. Amy Searight, director of the Southeast Asia Program at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), also confirmed Mattis’ visit while addressing a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu. Photo: Reuters
Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu. Photo: Reuters

Dr. Searight served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia at the U.S. Department of Defense between 2014 and 2016.

The conference, titled “Vietnam-U.S. Relations Under President Donald Trump’s Administration,” highlighted Washington’s commitment to Vietnam and President Donald Trump’s complete trust in the Southeast Asian country as a partner.

Next week will be the third time Minister Lich and Secretary Mattis will have met officially since the latter took office in January 2017.

Dr. Searight also said that a U.S. aircraft carrier had been scheduled for a visit to Vietnam in March.

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