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Letter from Hanoi

Vietnam-U.S. relations remain strong, ambassador says

[Editor's note: This story was provided by our editorial partner VietNamNet]

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Le Cong Phung described 2008 as a bright year of Vietnam-U.S. relations, which shows the political determination of the two countries’ leaders and desire on the part of both nations.

The visit to the U.S. by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in June 2008 marked a milestone, with Vietnam-U.S. cooperation more intensive and of higher quality, the ambassador told the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in an interview.

In terms of politics, last year Vietnam-U.S. cooperation was prominent in performing the missions at the United Nations Security Council, the diplomat said.

The U.S. delegation often exchanged its opinions on international peace and security with Vietnam before announcing its points of view, he added.

For its part, as a responsible member of the international community, Vietnam fulfilled its role as the chair of the UNSC, having expressed its concern over regional and international issues as well as issues related to bilateral ties, said ambassador Phung.

In his opinion, a strategic dialogue on politics and security, formulated during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit, marked a drastic change in the relationship between the two countries, which were rivals during the war.

The ambassador also mentioned another important dialogue mechanism between the two defense ministries, which, he said, manifests the U.S.’s desire to cooperate with Vietnam on defense, making it intensive and practical.

Bilateral cooperation in such fields as science and technology, education, economic and trade, has also seen important progress, the diplomat said.

In this year, he said, there won’t be so many high-ranking delegation exchanges as in 2008. However, 2009 will be full of implementing the agreements and commitments, the ambassador said.

“We will continue joining hands with the U.S. in the UNSC activities, and there will be security and defense-related visits between the two countries," Phung said.

He said the two countries will boost cooperation in education, science and technology and boost investment and trade ties.

They will also discuss measures to accelerate their political, economic and educational relations, according to the ambassador.

He predicted that bilateral trade turnover in 2009 would not be so high as in 2008, but would still grow and that more U.S. businesses and investors would come to Vietnam.

“We do hope that with the investors’ commitments and determination, U.S. ’s investment into Vietnam will not much decrease,” Phung said.

The ambassador also highly valued contribution by Vietnamese entrepreneurs and intellectuals who are residing in the U.S. to the country.

There are about 1.5 million overseas Vietnamese in the U.S., representing almost 50 percent of the overseas Vietnamese community.

(Source: VNA)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/vietnam/090105/letter-hanoi