US urged to lift ban on lethal weapons sales

(VOV) - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has proposed that the US assist Vietnam in joining UN peacekeeping missions and soon lift its ban on lethal weapons sales to the country.

Receiving Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff  Gen Martin Dempsey in Hanoi on August 14, Dung spoke highly of the results of Vietnam-US talks on defence cooperation, and hoped Dempsey’s visit would make an important contribution to the fine development of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

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Vietnam wants to boost closer cooperation with the US in all realms, from politics and diplomacy to economics, trade, investment, culture, education-training, science-technology, the environment, and climate change adaptation, as well as security and defence, for mutual benefit and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large, said the PM.

He voiced his support for increasing Vietnam-US defence cooperation in overcoming war aftermath, including dioxin remediation and unexploded ordnance clearance, and running English training courses for Vietnamese officers.

For his part, Gen Dempsey said his visit demonstrates the US commitment to peace and stability in the region, and the US desire to be a good partner of Vietnam.

He shared the view that peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the Asia-Pacific region, especially the East Sea and East China Sea, is seriously threatened by unjustifiable claims and unilateral actions to assert territorial sovereignty.

This not only threatens Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, but also affects the interest of countries, including the US, Dempsey said.

He said the US and other regional countries have common interests and they all have the duty to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region.

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He welcomed efforts to settle territorial disputes through peaceful measures, in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without resorting to the threat or use of force.

The General said he had effective discussions with Vietnamese defence leaders on issues of mutual concern and ways to boost defence cooperation.

The US is committed to cooperating with Vietnam in five defence areas and at the same time addressing war aftermath, considering it a priority, he said.

The US supports Vietnam in joining UN peacekeeping operations, wants to cooperate in maritime security, and helps it meet challenges in defending marine sovereignty.

Dempsey said the US will seek to soon lift the ban on lethal weapons sales to Vietnam.