The Vietnamese State President has urged the U.S. to lift a ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam soon, which he said is important to demonstrate mutual trust and the full normalization of bilateral ties.
President Truong Tan Sang made the call for the ban lift at a meeting in Hanoi on July 18 with former U.S. President Bill Clinton who visited Vietnam the same day.
The country is among Clinton’s stopovers during his trip covering eight countries, including India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, from July 16 to 23, to promote the operation of the HIV/AIDS prevention foundation named for him – the Clinton Foundation.
President Sang also welcomed the U.S. Senate’s resolution which protested against China’s illegal positioning of oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnamese waters and requested Beijing to remove the drilling platform.
The Vietnamese leader also thanked the U.S. government, Congress, politicians, scholars and public opinion for their strong voice against China over the illegal deployment of the oil rig.
He also highly valued the contributions by Clinton and his wife to the Vietnam-U.S. relations when they were in office as well as at present through the Clinton Foundation.
President Sang hailed the U.S.’s support in cleaning up dioxins in contaminated areas in Vietnam, and said he hoped this support will be continued on a large scale in the southern region.
The president expressed his hope to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to Vietnam soon, especially on the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries next year.
In reply, Clinton said he took note of President Sang’s suggestions, including lifting the ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam.
The ex-U.S. President promised that he will do his best to promote the friendly cooperation between the two countries, and added that both nations need to coordinate more closely in resolving war consequences.
Clinton lauded Vietnam’s stance on responding to ongoing regional issues and affirmed that the U.S. always supports cooperation, peace, stability and prosperity for all nations.
He also said he is very interested in learning about the treatment of HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant malaria in Vietnam.
Clinton visited the Center for Care of Children with HIV No. 2 in the Vietnamese capital’s Ba Vi District on Friday afternoon, as part of his one-day visit to Vietnam.
This is Clinton’s fourth visit to the Southeast Asian country since 2000.