US Commits to Helping Vietnam Enhance Maritime Abilities

At a meeting, representatives from the United States reaffirmed their commitment to helping Vietnam strengthen its maritime capabilities, law enforcement and the identification of fallen Vietnamese soldiers through the provision of training and equipment.

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An overview of the 12th Vietnam-US Political, Security and Defence Dialogue. Photo: VGP
An overview of the 12th Vietnam-US Political, Security and Defence Dialogue. Photo: VGP

The 12th Vietnam-US Political, Security and Defense Dialogue was held in Washington D.C. on March 30, with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc and US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Jessica Lewis co-chairing the event, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on Saturday. The dialogue provided an opportunity for both sides to exchange views and enhance mutual understanding on a wide range of political, security and defense issues of mutual concern.

At the event, the two sides expressed their jubilation at the comprehensive and productive expansion of the two countries’ relations in the bilateral, regional, and international realms, based on the principle of respecting the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political institutions of each other.

Ngoc emphatically stated that Vietnam has always seen the US as one of its most important partners, while Lewis reiterated the US’s unwavering support for a strong, independent, and prosperous Vietnam.

The two sides underlined the crucial importance of bilateral meetings, consultations, and delegation exchanges in constructing confidence and mutual understanding, as well as advancing cooperation and intertwined interests between Vietnam and the US. Furthermore, they asserted that they will continue to have open, constructive, and regular dialogues on controversial matters.

The authorities acknowledged the advancement of bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence and security, law enforcement, and remedying post-war repercussions; while consenting to persist in developing bilateral defence relations at a steady rate, in accordance with the interests, conditions, and policies of each country, and to broaden collaboration in cyber-security, combating trans-national offences, and taking part in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The two sides expressed their commitment to continuing their cooperation in clearing landmines and explosives, decontaminating areas affected by dioxin, providing assistance to those affected by the war in Vietnam, and searching for soldiers who went missing during the war.

Representatives of the United States pledged to sustain their support for Vietnam in strengthening its maritime capacity, law enforcement, and the identification of remains of Vietnamese soldiers. This support will come in the form of training and the provision of necessary equipment.

The two sides discussed a range of international and regional issues of mutual interest, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law, guaranteeing freedom and security of navigation and aviation, and resolving disputes peacefully in accordance with international law, without the use or threat of force.

The US reaffirmed its support for ASEAN’s agreement and pivotal role in the regional security framework.

The two sides unanimously agreed on the importance of implementing innovative and practical measures to advance the Mekong-US Partnership in the immediate future.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc (R) and US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Jessica Lewis. Photo: VNA
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc (R) and US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Jessica Lewis. Photo: VNA

On the fringes of the discourse, Ngoc held talks with the leaders of the US Department of State, Department of Defense, National Security Council, certain legislators and consultants of the Congress, and agents of US companies.

This meeting contributed to the successful implementation of the outcomes of the high-level phone talks on March 29 between Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and US President Joe Biden, thus promoting the bilateral agenda this year as the two countries celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership (2013-2023).

During the high-level phone talks with the US President, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong proposed that both sides should further extend and make economic, scientific, and technological cooperation the core and driving force of their relationship.

They should establish agreements on national defense and security cooperation; highlight the importance of promoting harmonious and sustainable trade; collaborate in ensuring supply chains, developing infrastructure and emerging areas such as logistics, digital economy, green transformation, and health care.

At the same time, both sides should strive to increase their collaboration in dealing with the aftermath of the war, upholding the UN peace, exchanging data, and thwarting crime, among other things.

The Vietnamese leader proposed that the US should create more favourable conditions to boost the number of Vietnamese students in the country, and continue to back Vietnam’s endeavours.

For his part, President Biden discussed a variety of international issues, including the response to climate change, the socio-economic recovery post-pandemic, and cooperation in terms of democratic and human rights. The President expressed agreement with the cooperation directions proposed by Party General Secretary Trong, such as enhancing cooperation in the realms of trade, clean energy, and energy transition.

Hannah Nguyen