Secretary Kerry met with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister / Foreign Minister Minh on October 2 to discuss progress on implementing the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, launched by President Obama and President Sang in July 2013. Secretary Kerry highlighted the conclusion of the U.S.-Vietnam Civil Nuclear Cooperation (123) agreement and expanding maritime security cooperation as examples of the strength of bilateral ties. To integrate Vietnam fully into regional maritime security initiatives, the Secretary informed Deputy Prime Minister / Foreign Minister Minh that the State Department has modified its policy to allow for the future transfer of maritime security related lethal defense articles to Vietnam. This policy supports Vietnam’s efforts to improve its maritime domain awareness and maritime security capabilities.
The Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister / Foreign Minister Minh also discussed the importance of concluding Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and expanding bilateral trade and investment. The Secretary noted that achieving further progress on human rights is integral to our bilateral relationship and is necessary for a further deepening of bilateral ties, including in security cooperation.
The Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister / Foreign Minister Minh discussed regional issues and recent developments in the South China Sea, following discussions at the ASEAN Regional Forum in August. The Secretary welcomed efforts to defuse recent tensions. The Secretary agreed with DPM/FM Minh on the importance of claimants implementing Article 5 of the Declaration of Conduct and avoiding actions that threatened to escalate disputes and cause instability.
The Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister / Foreign Minister Minh both noted the importance of 20th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2015 and expressed their desire to mark this milestone with high-level visits.