U.S. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army, paid a visit to a dioxin cleanup facility in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang on Friday, the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City said the same day in a press release.
General Dempsey visited the place as part of his four-day visit to the Southeast Asian country, which began on Wednesday.
This is General Dempsey’s first visit to Vietnam, and the first-ever visit by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the invitation of Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army.
On visiting the Da Nang thermal treatment system of dioxin cleanup, which is currently remediating 45,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated soil at the Da Nang airport, General Dempsey hailed the project as an important milestone in the bilateral relationship and for the people of Da Nang.
“I wanted to come to Da Nang to learn more about this project. I am so impressed with the progress being made. The U.S. Defense Department fully supports, and will continue to support, this important initiative,” General Dempsey said.
The efforts and cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam in cleaning up this site is a testament to the growing bilateral relationship between the two countries, and the positive result of the collaborative partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Vietnamese Air Defense-Air Force Command, he said.
“The United States and our military will continue to work with our Vietnamese partners and friends to build this relationship and support a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam,” General Dempsey said.
“Addressing legacies of the war between the United States and Vietnam has proven an effective way to promote relations and understanding between our peoples,” the U.S. general added.
It also benefits those populations whose health and livelihoods are impacted by the presence of dioxin and unexploded ordnance (UXO), he stated, pointing out that the governments of Vietnam and the United States have been collaborating on issues related to Agent Orange since 2000.
Earlier on Thursday, General Dempsey met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Minister of Defense General Phung Quang Thanh, and Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty.