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Vietnam vice premier to visit US to promote ties

Friday, September 26, 2014, 16:25 GMT+7

During the coming visit to the U.S, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and his hosts will discuss measures to strengthen the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the U.S., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Hai Binh said Thursday.

>> U.S. Secretary of State Kerry congratulates Vietnam on National Day >> US hails Vietnam’s goodwill, criticizes China’s provocation over sea dispute During the two-day visit starting on October 1, the two sides will also discuss activities to mark the 20 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Binh said. Deputy PM Minh, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also have talks with US officials about international issues of mutual concern. When asked for comments about the information saying that the U.S. will sell to Vietnam six spy planes to help Vietnam strengthen its supervision and protection of its coastal areas, Binh said he had yet to get that information. He, however, said that “Vietnam always supports all efforts to boost the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. for the interests of both countries, as well as for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.” Regarding whether during the visit to the deputy PM Minh, the two sides would come to an agreement on the U.S. lifting the ban of sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam, Binh said the two sides will discuss  concrete and practical measures to boost the bilateral cooperation. In reply to a question that if the U.S. removes the ban, how the removal will affect the relationship between Vietnam and China, Binh said, “With the independence and self-control principles of Vietnam’s diplomatic policy, every bilateral relation of Vietnam is not aimed at any third country.”

When asked about Vietnam’s reaction before China’s recent operations aiming to renovate and change the current status of reefs in the (Truong Sa) Spratly Islands belonging to Vietnam's sovereignty, including the Johnson South Reef (Gac Ma in Vietnamese) into artificial islands, the Vietnamese diplomat said, “In the current situation, all parties must be responsible for maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea.” “All activities of concerned parities in the East Sea should respect the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the countries concerned, comply with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) without having any action that further complicates the situation.” Regarding the fact that on September 24, China’s Maritime Safety Administration announced that China would conduct a large-scale live ammunition drill in southern Hainan island near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracels) archipelago, Binh said Vietnamese competent agencies have verified the information and carried out necessary measures to protect Vietnamese fishermen’s normal activities in their traditional fishery grounds in the East Sea.

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