|Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh (middle)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State (DOS) for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy along with officials of the DOS and the Vietnamese embassy in the US also joined the trip.
During the trip, Vinh visited Norfolk naval base, the Old Dominion University and several local socio-cultural establishments.
The ambassador also visited the USS George H.W.Bush aircraft carrier (CVN-77), where he was welcomed by Under Secretary of the US Navy Thomas Modly; Commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic, Rear Admiral Rear Kelley; and Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier Colonel Chris Hill.
During talks at the ship, both sides pledged to continue pushing forward the three-year national defence cooperation programme, with a focus on post-war recovery, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster rescue and relief work, maritime security and safety, capacity improvement, and the United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The host side affirmed that the US attaches importance to ties with Vietnam, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the region, stressing their belief that the Vietnam – US strategic partnership, including national defence ties, will further thrive bilaterally and multilaterally, for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific.
Under Secretary of the US Navy Thomas Modly said the Vietnamese Ambassador’s visit to the aircraft carrier demonstrated the development of bilateral ties, particularly in defence.
Ambassador Vinh said the bilateral defence ties, including the US aircraft carrier’s upcoming visit to Vietnam scheduled for March, not only reflects the development of the bilateral comprehensive partnership but also their joint efforts to maintain regional peace, development and respect for international law, as well as to engage in common humanitarian assistance activities.
In Norfolk, the ambassador also visited a fleet of naval helicopters and a museum dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur.
At Old Dominion University (ODU), he had a meeting with President of the ODU John Roderick and Provost Austin Agho, during which the two sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral education-training ties and people-to-people exchange.
Vinh spoke highly of the partnership between ODU and Vietnamese training institutions, including the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, the Ton Duc Thang University and the Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, believing that such cooperation will make it easier for Vietnamese students to access the US’s advanced training programmes.
Roderick, for his part, said he appreciated collaboration with Vietnam and the Vietnamese students’ contributions to ODU and ties between the two nations.
Talking to ODU lecturers and students, the Vietnamese ambassador and DOS Deputy Assistant Secretary Murphy shared their views on the Vietnam-US ties.
Murphy described Vietnam as one of the most important partners of the US in Southeast Asia. He expressed his belief that the bilateral comprehensive partnership with further develop for the benefit of the two countries and the entire region.
Established in 1930, the research-focused ODU is the largest of its kind in Virginia. Its students include naval officers from forces stationed in Norfolk naval base – the world’s largest military port with 75 warships and 134 jet fighters.