Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Pham Quang Vinh has paid a visit to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier as part of his business trip to Norfolk City, Virginia.
The Vietnamese diplomat was scheduled to visit Norfolk on February 21 and 22, the Embassy of Vietnam in Washington confirmed on Saturday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy along with officials of the DOS and the Vietnamese embassy in the U.S. also joined the trip.
During his stay, Vinh visited Norfolk naval base, the Old Dominion University and several local socio-cultural establishments.
He also visited the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier on Wednesday, where he was welcomed by Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas Modly, Rear Admiral Roy Kelley, who is Commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic, and Executive Officer of the vessel, Colonel Chris Hill.
|Colonel Chris Hill introduces the aircraft carrier to Ambassador Vinh. Photo: Embassy of Vietnam in the U.S.|
During their conversation, both sides pledged to continue pushing forward the bilateral national defense cooperation program, with a focus on post-war recovery, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster rescue and relief work, maritime security and safety, capacity improvement, and United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The U.S. treasures its ties with Vietnam, the hosts stated, underlining their belief that the Vietnam – U.S. strategic partnership, including national defense collaboration, will further thrive for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Under Secretary Modly praised the Vietnamese ambassador’s visit to the carrier, considering it a demonstration of the development of the two nations’ bilateral ties, particularly in defense.
|From left: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Patrick Murphy, Ambassador Vinh, and Colonel Chris Hill. Photo: Embassy of Vietnam in the U.S.|
According to Ambassador Vinh, the Vietnam-U.S. defense cooperation reflects not only the development of the bilateral comprehensive partnership but also the efforts to maintain regional peace and to engage in common humanitarian assistance activities.
During his stay in Norfolk, the Vietnamese ambassador also visited a fleet of naval helicopters and a museum dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur.
The USS George H.W. Bush is the tenth and final Nimitz-class super carrier of the United States Navy.
The vessel can carry up to 5,000 sailors and naval officers, along with 90 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.