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Vietnam, US step up defense ties

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 11:43 GMT+7
Vietnam, US step up defense ties
Sen. Lt. Gen. Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (R), deputy minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink talk during a defense consultation in Hanoi on September 27, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh on Friday suggested Vietnam and the United States push ahead with cooperation on navigation, maritime security and the settlement of war consequences during bilateral defense consultations in Hanoi.

Vinh made the call at a reception for U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink and a delegation of the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The senior lieutenant-general said the cooperation will contribute to peace, stability and development in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the reception, Ambassador Kritenbrink described security and defense cooperation as a bright spot in the Vietnam-U.S. relationship, and expressed his belief that the good relations between the countries’ armies will be enhanced in the time ahead.

Major General Stephen Sklenka, Director of the U.S. Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, briefed the host on outcomes of an earlier meeting between his delegation and representatives of the Foreign Relations Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense.

The two agencies agreed on ways to promote the implementation of a cooperation program between the two defense ministries in 2019 and the years to come, Sklenka said.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (R), deputy minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, shakes hands with Maj. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, Director of the U.S. Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, during a defense consultation in Hanoi on September 27, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency
Sen. Lt. Gen. Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (R), deputy minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, shakes hands with Maj. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, Director of the U.S. Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate, during a defense consultation in Hanoi on September 27, 2019. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Once locked in war, Vietnam and the United States have built mature ties rooted in mutual economic and security interests.

In 2016, Washington lifted a decades-long ban on lethal arms sales to Hanoi.

In 2018, the USS Carl Vinson, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, made a historic port call in Vietnam, the first docking of its kind since the end of the war in 1975.

The same year, Vietnam participated for the first time in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime military exercises hosted biennially by the United States, after being an observer in 2012 and 2016.

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