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Vietnam, US target 20 more years of successful ties

Monday, January 26, 2015, 10:30 GMT+7

Top diplomats from the United States and Vietnam are gathering at a conference in Hanoi to place the stepping stones for their bilateral relationship over the next 20 years and more.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

The event is centered on discussing the lessons learned in the past 20 years of diplomatic, economic, and security and political relations between Vietnam and the U.S., and opportunities and challenges for the next 20 years.

Speaking at the opening session of the conference, Dr. Dang Dinh Quy, director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said: "We'd like to send special greetings to fellow Americans who have traveled thousands of kilometers from many different states in the U.S. to the conference. I am very glad to see the very famous people here such as former Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson, and Ambassador Ted Osius.”

“On the side of Vietnam, I’m very happy to see the presence of former Vietnamese Ambassadors to the U.S. Le Van Bang, Nguyen Tam Chien, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, economic expert Pham Chi Lan, and former diplomat Ton Nu Thi Ninh," Dr. Quy said.

According to Dr. Quy, this is an encouraging meeting, as it is not a normal event but an occasion to mark a historic milestone.

Both Vietnam and the U.S. are working hard to boost mutual understanding and promote bilateral relations, Dr. Quy said.

In addition, this is a chance for the two countries to draw lessons about what has yet to be done and what will work best for the next 20 years, he added.

According to Dr. Quy, the age of 20 is a very beautiful stage in one’s life, with lively and strong physical and mental health.

On the U.S. side, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius said the conference will deepen the profound relationship between the two countries and enhance cooperation from American investors.

One of the issues that concern the U.S. is the establishment of world-class American universities in Vietnam, opening a new phase in bilateral relations between the two countries.

This conference is co-organized by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nations (1995 - 2015).

Representatives from Vietnam include Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Dang Dinh Quy, Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Foreign Policy Hoang Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management Vo Tri Thanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, former Vietnamese Ambassadors to the U.S. such as Le Van Bang, Le Cong Phung, Nguyen Tam Chien, and Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Director of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Thanh, and former Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations Ton Nu Thi Ninh.

American representatives include Ambassador Ted Osius and former U.S. Ambassadors to Vietnam David Shear (currently the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs) and Pete Peterson, who was the first U.S. Ambassador in Hanoi, Dr. Vikram Singh, Vice President for National Security and International Policy at American Progress, and Kurt Campbell, chairman and CEO of The Asia Group.

In addition, the conference also features the participation of international experts in politics-security and leading economists from CSIS, the University of Portland (USA), the Asia-Europe Foundation, and the Mansfield Foundation.

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