U.S.-Vietnam ties enhanced after arms embargo fully lifted


{BNN / HANOI, Vietnam} – On his three-day visit to Vietnam, U.S. President Barack Obama not only made history by becoming the third American president to visit the nation since the end of the Vietnam war but also made a historic announcement.

Obama reportedly announced that the United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for decades now.

Obama, along with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang hosted a joint press conference, in which he said that the decision to lift the arms embargo was part of a deeper defense co-operation with the country.

Obama is said to have however refuted claims that the country had arrived at the decision to counter China’s dominant and increasing might in the region.

The U.S. President said that U.S. wanted to strengthen its ties with Vietnam and do away with a ban “based on ideological division between our two countries.”

Vietnam is engaged in territorial dispute with its neighbour China, over claims made in the South China Sea.

In his statement, Obama is said to have thanked Vietnam for its continued aid in addressing “the painful legacy of war.”

Obama is also expected to discuss a myriad of issues with an overall aim of strengthening economic ties between both the countries.

Obama’s visit is said to be in keeping with his previously announced ‘Pivot to Asia’ plan that is focussed on a reorientation of American foreign policy in various key regions of the world, including Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Commenting on his visit, Obama said in a statement, “We’ve come here as a symbol of the renewed ties we have made over the last several decades and the comprehensive partnership we have created over the course of my presidency.”

The White House said in a statement that both Presidents attended a signing ceremony to official mark a series of commercial deals between U.S. and Vietnamese companies, together valued at more than $16 billion.

According to the statement, one of the newly signed deals was related to U.S. engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney’s plans to sell 135 advanced engines to Vietnamese air carrier Vietjet and Boeing’s plans to sell 100 aircraft to airline. The statement added that the Boeing deal is expected to support 60,000 American manufacturing and technology jobs.

Further an agreement between GE Wind and the Vietnamese government to develop 1,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity has also reportedly been signed.

Obama’s visit will further be marked by a string of meetings with Vietnamese government bodies and the U.S. President is expected to use the platform to discuss a new boost to relations through the launch of more economic and security initiatives.

Obama is also expected to meet dissidents and push for greater human rights freedom in the region too.

He is also said to be focussed on getting the country’s opinion on the 12-nation trans-Pacific trade agreement that has been met with strong opposition from the Congress.

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About Cholo Brooks 16926 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.