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Vietnam Today

US naval vessels to visit Da Nang next week

Released at: 10:08, 26/02/2018

US naval vessels to visit Da Nang next week

Photo: US Navy

Three vessels to dock in central city from March 5 to 9.

by Duy Anh

A group of US Navy vessels will dock in the central city of Da Nang from March 5 to 9, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The group comprises of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, and the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer.

Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis agreed on the visit in January, while Mr. Mattis was on an official visit to Hanoi.

This will be the first visit by a US aircraft carrier since the end of the American War and is evidence of deepening military ties between the former enemies more than four decades after the conflict ended.

“Vietnam does have one of the region’s fastest-growing economies and so freedom of navigation and access in the South China Sea [East Sea] will be critical to them economically and of course in their security efforts,” Mr. Mattis said prior to his arrival on January 24.

When US President Donald Trump received Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the White House in late May last year, the two issued a joint statement expressing their agreement on expanding the comprehensive partnership negotiated in 2013 under the Obama Administration.

Vietnam and the US normalized diplomatic relations in July 1995, 20 years after Vietnam’s liberation. The relationship has been solidified in recent times, with former US President Barack Obama fully lifting the US ban on weapons sales to Vietnam during an official trip in May 2016, while President Trump witnessed the signing of a number of trade deals when he was in Hanoi last November.

“What we are witnessing with the Da Nang visit is a modest but significant step forward in bilateral defense engagement,” Emeritus Professor Carl Thayer from the Australian Defence Force Academy and an Australia-based veteran Vietnam analyst, said in a February 18 note.

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