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Vietnam Today

President Obama schedules May visit

Released at: 09:48, 17/02/2016

President Obama schedules May visit

Visit confirmed at meeting with PM Nguyen Tan Dung on the sidelines of the ASEAN-US Summit.

by Quynh Nguyen

US President Barack Obama will pay an official visit to Vietnam in May with the aim of seeking specific measures to maintain the active pace of the US-Vietnam comprehensive cooperative partnership.

The visit was confirmed during a meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on the sidelines of the ASEAN-US Summit at Sunnylands in California on February 16.

In a meeting that lasted nearly 40 minutes the two leaders exchanged views on important aspects of cooperation between the countries as well as international issues.

PM Dung said that Vietnam is very concerned about the increasingly complex developments in the East Sea that threaten peace, security, and maritime and aviation safety and freedom.

The PM called on the US to raise a strong voice and take more pragmatic and effective action to seek an end to such developments, especially China’s construction of islands and the militarization of the East Sea, and for it to respect the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and to work towards the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct.

In response, President Obama said that the US is concerned about the East Sea issue and strongly backs diplomatic efforts and legal processes to handle the territorial disputes on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the DOC.

Previously, at the opening of the ASEAN-US Summit on February 15, President Obama congratulated the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community and affirmed that the US attaches great importance to relations with ASEAN. He hopes that the US and ASEAN countries will continue to promote economic relations and trade.

At the meeting Prime Minister Dung also proposed the establishment of an ASEAN-US center to support startups and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam to promote the creative potential and links among businesses in ASEAN.

US enterprises appreciate the potential of information technology and the digital economy in ASEAN countries and have recommended that leaders and governments of ASEAN countries create a favorable environment for the IT sector to develop more strongly.

The special ASEAN-US Summit kicked off in Sunnylands on February 15 (US time), attended by President Obama and leaders of the ten ASEAN member countries.

The Summit is of special significance as it is the first between the bloc and a partner country after the official formation of the ASEAN Economic Community on December 31, 2015. This is also the first time the ASEAN-US Summit has been held in the US, which demonstrates the importance that both sides attach to the strategic partnership. 

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