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U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is important for the region, says Gates

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:51 am

U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is important for the region, says Gates

QĐND – Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

PANO – U.S Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, was welcomed to the Hall of Hanoi National University by hundreds of students of the university and cadets from Military Science Academy.

His first visit to Hanoi as Secretary of Defence coincides with the city’s 1,000 year Anniversary, the 15th anniversary of Vietnam–U.S.A. diplomatic relations and 10 years after U.S President Bill Clinton’s visit to this very university.

The younger generations of the U.S.A. and Vietnam now live in a peaceful environment and better mutual understanding than in the war era and the time U.S.A. imposed economic embargoes on Vietnam.

Gates’ official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart, General Phung Quang Thanh, and his participation in the first ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus, signal the rapid development in the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

ADMM Plus gathers defence ministers and representatives of defence ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and the association’s eight dialogue partners. It is good news as defence heads from 18 countries gather in Hanoi, a city for peace, to discuss peace and cooperation in Asia Pacific.

Gates said that he agreed “right on the spot” when General Thanh invited him to attend the first ADMM Plus, a forum expected to provide opportunities for peace, stability and cooperation.

The U.S.A.–Vietnam relations started after the Vietnam War when the two sides committed to find missing soldiers from the war.

He said that the Vietnamese government returned the remains of some U.S. service members as a gesture of goodwill, said Gates.

“And it was this initial cooperation that led us to where we are today – with a vibrant relationship that now spans a range of issues – trade and investment, education and health, and most relevant to my remarks, security and defence,” said Gates in his speech.

Earlier, in his introduction about Mr. Gates, Vu Minh Giang, Deputy Director of Hanoi National University, mentioned President Clinton’s visit to the education institution. He reminded Gates of Clinton’s regret that Vietnam and U.S. lost many chances to cooperate in the past, solely due to a lack of mutual understanding.

Listing the collaborative efforts of the two sides over the years, Gates held that these would provide invaluable opportunities to build knowledge and trust between the two countries’ defence institutions.

“The growing U.S.A.–Vietnam relationship is not only important for the U.S and Vietnam but also for the region as a whole,” Gates stressed.

He said that Vietnam has been a leader in promoting greater multilateral cooperation.

“It’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year is an excellent example,” said Gates.

“In fact, Vietnam’s vision to push forward on such collaboration is one reason I’m here today,” he added.

When promoting mutual understanding can help promote cooperation, peace and Vietnam–U.S.A. relationship, ADMM Plus is a cornerstone forum that lays foundation for cooperation in a sensitive area of security and defence.

“This meeting represents a historic and very welcome move to a higher level of regional security dialogue, with defence ministers formally coming together for the first time to build tangible coopreation on range of security issues,” Gates stressed in his speech to the students.

He said that, by allowing defence ministers to more exchange of views and by developing the operational infrastructure for future efforts, this forum will build trust and transparency in the whole region.

While ADMM Plus can build those, it is reasonable to believe that not only the youth in Vietnam and U.S.A., but also in the region, can live in their tomorrows, a future of peace and prosperity.

Ngoc Hung

Source: QDND

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