Carter Meets With Vietnamese Leaders, Signs Vision Statement
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2015 Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with President Truong Tan Sang, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi yesterday, Pentagon officials reported.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Vietnamese Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh sign a joint vision statement after meeting at the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense in Hanoi, Vietnam, June 1, 2015. Carter is on a 10-day trip to meet with officials of Asia-Pacific partner nations and affirm the U.S. commitment to the region. DoD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In a statement summarizing the secretary’s interaction with the Vietnamese leaders, officials said Carter signed a joint vision statement for the bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Vietnam after his meeting with Thanh and discussed defense cooperation and regional security issues in all of his meetings.
“Secretary Carter reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific region, reiterating the United States' support for a regional architecture that allows all countries in the Asia-Pacific to rise and prosper,” the statement said. “The secretary noted that this year is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Secretary Carter reflected on the great progress made in the last 20 years and expressed his hope that the next 20 years will see a similar strengthening of the U.S.-Vietnam relationship.”
Opening the Door to Greater Cooperation
In his meetings, Carter discussed progress on legacy of war issues, support for Vietnamese peacekeeping training and operations, and cooperation on search-and-rescue and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the statement said, adding that Carter and his counterparts expressed a desire to leverage the joint vision statement to open the door to greater military-to-military cooperation that would allow the United States and Vietnam to more effectively work together to promote regional and global security.
Carter also discussed maritime security issues and the South China Sea, pledging continued U.S. support to build Vietnamese maritime security capacity and reiterating the U.S. commitment to a peaceful resolution to disputed claims there made in accordance with international law, officials said. The secretary also encouraged Vietnam to agree to a permanent halt to land reclamation activity and further militarization of outposts in the South China Sea, they added.
The secretary is on a 10-day trip in the Asia-Pacific region.