US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Amy Searight expressed her delight at the vigorous development of the two countries’ relations and their defence ties, saying that defence cooperation has grown considerably within the framework of the 2011 memorandum of understanding (MoU) on boosting bilateral defence cooperation.
Regarding the Asia-Pacific situation, Searight said that the situation is complicated. Emerging sovereignty disputes as well as actions and claims that run counter to international law are raising concern nations inside and outside the region.
She confirmed the US’s anticipation that all disputes would be settled through peaceful means and any actions that run counter to international law would desist.
Concerning bilateral defence ties, she spoke of both sides’ efforts to intensify cooperation in the spirit of the MoU, the 2015 Joint Vision Statement on Defence Relations and other agreements signed by high-level leaders with positive results seen in handling the aftermath of war, including search for the remains of soldiers, bomb and mine clearance, dioxin detoxification, humanitarian assistance and search and rescue operations.
The two countries have also coordinated closely at multilateral forums, particularly the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), she noted.
Sharing Searight’s opinions, Vinh said that the Asia-Pacific region is facing a risk of instability and conflict, which requires nations involved to exercise restraint, participate in peace talks, share viewpoints and unity at multilateral forums, work towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea on the basis of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and avoid any actions that complicate the situation.
He hailed the US’s responsibility and efforts to handle the consequences of war, particularly projects to address the dioxin contamination at the Da Nang airport and assess the environment at the Bien Hoa airport.
He also emphasized the two countries’ results in cooperation related to UN peacekeeping operations, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Both sides concurred to continue developing defence ties in line with the bilateral comprehensive partnership, maintain collaboration in war aftermath settlement and peacekeeping missions, seek cooperation opportunities in the defence industry, boost the ADMM+ mechanism in a more practical manner and promote peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
On the occasion, Vinh handed over several war remembrances of US soldiers who fought in Vietnam.
During his stay in the US, he also met Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Christine Wormuth and Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear and other officials.