Vietnam Time

1/27/2015 11:12:24 PM

Vietnam, US aim for 20 more successful years in bilateral ties

A bilateral conference on Vietnam-US relationship opened in Hanoi on January 26th on the theme: For 20 more successful years.

Prominent among participants on the Vietnamese side were Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, Director of the Diplomatic Academy Dang Dinh Quy and many diplomats and former Ambassadors to the US including Le Van Bang, Le Cong Phung and Nguyen Tam Chien.

On the US side, incumbent Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius was joined by former Ambassadors such as David Shear and Pete Peterson.

In his keynote speech at the conference, Deputy FM Ha Kim Ngoc stressed that the Vietnam-US relationship had to travel a very long and hard journey to reach this moment today.

Photo: VNA

“Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1995, our two countries have succeeded in transforming ourselves from enemies to friends, and then to “comprehensive partners”. The four Vietnam-US Joint Statements of 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2013 have confirmed our common viewpoints on constructive and multi-faceted cooperation, which is based on respect, equal footing and mutual interests. This year, we also celebrate the second anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership jointly declared by President Truong Tan Sang and President Barrack Obama in July 2013, which was aimed at broadening and deepening the bilateral relationships between the two countries,” the Deputy FM said, adding that the formation of the Comprehensive Partnership cooperation framework could be seen as the most important achievement the two sides have made since 1995. In addition, the commitment by both Vietnam and the United States to conclude the negotiation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year manifests a strong desire for a more mature and stable relationship.

He said the reflection on the past 20 years could serve as a starting point for the two countries to contemplate a vision for the next 20 years of cooperation. According to him, the framework of “comprehensive partnership” should be considered a solid runway for the Vietnam-US relationship to take off and fly into the next decades of the twenty first century. This should be developed into a comprehensive partnership of substance, efficiency, and of strategic importance.

He went on to say, “While trust building should be sustained in our cooperation, in the time to come it should also be translated into policy collaboration and joint action by both sides. The nine pillars of cooperation defined in the comprehensive partnership framework need to be pursued harmoniously, in which economic and trade cooperation should be given priority. Closer economic linkages could serve as very strong bonds connecting our two nations, and they should be considered both the goals and the dynamics of our relationships. Above all, the linkages between our two peoples, especially their shared feelings and common values as enshrined in our declarations of independence, could be the most powerful centripetal force which defines the future of our relationships.”

At the same time, the deputy FM noted that the bilateral partnership is now mature enough to advance even far beyond the bilateral realm, and to enter into regional and global ones, thus forming a tripod platform for the relationship to forge ahead.

He explained that Vietnam is expected to play a more proactive role on the global stage in the next 20 years, thus hoping to share greater responsibility with the regional and global community in preserving peace, stability and prosperity, respecting international law and regional agreements, resolving disputes through peaceful means and refraining from the use of force. Vietnam and the United States form inseparable parts of the Asia-Pacific region, one that has enormous potentials to become the world’s politico-economic centre in this century.

“Vietnam welcomes the United States’ greater role in the region, and we believe that US deeper engagement in the Asia-Pacific is beneficial to all. In this direction, our two countries need to support the centrality of ASEAN in constructing the regional architecture, assisting ASEAN in strengthening ASEAN-led multilateral institutions, especially the East Asian Summit. Economically, Vietnam and the United States should work with other regional partners to consolidate and promote regional mechanisms that incorporate both countries such as TPP and APEC,” the deputy FM said.

He continued, “Our two countries should cooperate in maintaining the stability and durability of the contemporary international system, especially international law. Threats to basic principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations are currently causing serious concerns to all peoples in the world. There have also emerged numerous non-traditional challenges to the well-being of our two nations and peoples, among them are climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, water, food and energy security. Thus, there is still a lot of room for further development of cooperation between our two countries, given our common interests in jointly coping with these challenges.”

US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius noted that the conference was the start of a series of activities throughout 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

The conference is an opportunity for both sides to discuss measures to enhance the US-Vietnam comprehensive partnership, he added.

The Ambassador expressed his hope that US business and investment activities in Vietnam will be further expanded.

In addition, he said the US Government is interested in establishing US universities meeting international standards in Vietnam.

The bilateral conference on Vietnam-US Relationship – For 20 More Successful Years was organised by the Diplomatic Academy under the Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the US Embassy in Hanoi, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and the University of Portland.

Vietnam and the US officially established diplomatic relationship on July 12th, 1995 and exchanged their first ambassadors in July 1997. In November 1997, Vietnam opened its Consulate General in San Francisco and the US opened its Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. In March 2010, Vietnam launched its Consulate General in Houston./.

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