Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc (Photo: VNA)
On the occasion, Ambassador Ngoc paid courtesy calls to US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, talked with former INDOPACOM Commander Admiral Philip Davison, and INDOPACOM Commander Admiral John Aquilino, and held a working session with INDOPACOM representatives.
Both sides expressed their delight at the strong progress of bilateral comprehensive partnership in various areas, including in national defence, security, contributing to maintaining peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region.
Ngoc lauded the outcomes of joint work in addressing post-war consequences such as Agent Orange detoxification, bomb and mine clearance, and providing assistance for war victims.
The US side thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for effectively helping and cooperating in seeking Americans missing in action during the war, and was satisfied about partnership with Vietnam to improve maritime capacity, search and rescue, response to disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. The US said opportunities to boost defence ties remain plentiful.
On regional and global issues, the US side congratulated Vietnam on accomplishing the role of ASEAN Chair 2020, thus continuing to affirm the bloc’s central role and its solidarity, as well as ASEAN-US strategic partnership.
Ngoc also thanked the US for supporting Vietnam in joining the United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The US side affirmed that President Joe Biden’s administration will continue with the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy, considering the Indo-Pacific region a top priority in the national security strategy. The US vowed to ensure rules-based maritime and aviation freedom and order, attach importance to working with regional allies and partners to maintain peace, security, stability and respect international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and settle disputes peacefully amid complicated developments in the region.
The US will keep partnering with regional nations to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring supplying and distributing vaccines and building a stable supply chain.
An INDOPACOM representative also hoped that the Shangri-La Dialogue will be held with the participation of partner countries.
Secretary of Defence Austin also expressed his wish to visit Vietnam in the near future./.