In a press statement released on August 29, John Kerry said: “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Vietnam as you celebrate your National Day on September 2.”
The US top diplomat emphasized that the Vietnam-US relationship has grown in ways many would never have predicted. “We have moved past war and division. In the years since the embargo was lifted and we achieved normalization and trade, Vietnam has become a modern nation and an important partner for the United States. Vietnam is a country on the move and Vietnam’s moving,” he noted.
“My own journey with Vietnam came full circle when I visited Vietnam last December for my first time as Secretary of State. To know a country as a diplomat which I first knew as a combatant in a war is an experience that says so much about the progress we have made.”
Kerry recalled his Vietnam visit in December 2013 during which he had a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, discussing the work ahead as the two countries deepen their comprehensive partnership in all fields, from trade and investment ties to people-to-people exchanges.
“I’m proud to have led the efforts as a Senator to create a Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City, and I am equally proud that we are now working with the Vietnamese Government to establish a Fulbright University in the near future,” he stated.
He said over the past 19 years, Vietnam has taken a long journey. “And as Vietnam has grown, so has our partnership. It has been moving and rewarding to be a partner to the Vietnamese people in that effort, and I look forward to celebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year,” he concluded.