Confirmation is yet to come, but the US President may visit Vietnam next year to celebrate 20 years of the normalization of relations between the two countries.
According to the government website, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said during his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, that he “looked forward to welcoming President Obama to Vietnam to mark the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the two countries.”
Though there is yet to be any official confirmation or announcement from either side about the trip, PM Dung and President Obama both expressed their pleasure at the progress of bilateral relations, especially after the setting up of a comprehensive partnership in 2013. PM Dung reaffirmed Vietnam’s resolve to work with the US and other members to push forward with negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and praised President Obama’s role in this endeavor.
PM Dung also asked the US to continue to increase its funding for dioxin detoxification activities and assistance for Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam, and to fully lift the ban on the lethal arms sales to Vietnam, according to Vietnam News Agency.
For his part, President Obama pledged to enhance bilateral relations with a focus on prioritized fields for mutual benefit. He applauded the two countries’ signing of the agreement for cooperation concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy and expressed his belief that economic, security-defense, and education and training ties, as well as people-to-people exchanges and efforts in clean energy, will be fostered. Regarding the TPP talks, the President said he would consider granting flexibility to Vietnam that would serve the interest of both sides.
PM Dung also said he highly valued the US’s clear stance on the need to maintain peace and stability and the security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, with all disputes settled through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and for self-restraint to be exercised on all sides.