|Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson (Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson. It also saw the presence of other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam, along with the Department of State, the Department of Defence, the Department of Homeland Security and the Agency for International Development of the US.
Son and Thompson spoke highly of the substantive and extensive developments in Vietnam-US relations recently, including bilateral meetings between the countries’ leaders during President Donald Trump’s stay in Hanoi for the second summit with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) last February.
They agreed to continue working together to prepare for mutual visits, including those by high-ranking delegations, in the time ahead.
The two sides applauded strides in defence cooperation, especially the two visits to Vietnam by then US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in 2018, the first visit to Vietnam by a US aircraft carrier since the war’s end, and the completion of the environmental remediation of dioxin contamination at Vietnam’s Da Nang airport.
They agreed to continue implementing cooperation fields under the countries’ 2011 memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation and the 2015 joint vision statement on defence relations, including maritime security, unexploded ordnance clearance, the remediation of dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa airport, support for Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and search for Vietnamese soldiers missing in actions.
Regarding security cooperation, the officials expressed their delight at the collaboration between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and relevant agencies of the US in cyber security and fighting human trafficking, drug trafficking, and trans-national crimes. They affirmed that the two countries will promote ties through various measures, including increasing delegation exchanges, building capacity, training skills, and organising specialised workshops.
In terms of regional and international issues, Under Secretary of State Thompson repeated the US’s thanks to Vietnam for hosting the second US-DPRK summit, affirming her country has attached importance to Vietnam’s role in working together with the international community towards denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
At the event, the officials also discussed other international and regional affairs of shared concern, including the East Sea issue.
The US reiterated its commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region. It re-affirmed the stance of supporting peace, stability, cooperation, unimpeded trade, and freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation. It called on all parties concerned to fully and effectively carry out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work towards the finalisation of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the waters.
The US also highly valued Vietnam’s efforts in the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations, affirming that it will continue assisting the country in this regard.
The two sides shared the view that the dialogue was successful and substantive, agreeing to hold the 11th dialogue in Hanoi in 2020.
During his stay in the US, Deputy Foreign Minister Son met with Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, and Senator Cory Gardner to discuss measures for enhancing the countries’ comprehensive partnership on the threshold of the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2020.