Obama meets with Vietnamese leader to expand ties
Updated: 2015-07-08 09:29
US President Barack Obama (2nd R) shakes hands with Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong after they spoke to reporters following their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington July 7, 2015. Trong is Vietnam's first party general secretary to visit the US. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama held talks with Nguyen Phu Trong, head of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), at the White House Tuesday, as the two countries seek to deepen ties two decades after normalization of diplomatic relations.
"What we've seen is the emergence of a constructive relationship that is based on mutual respect, and that has benefited the peoples of both countries," Obama told reporters at the Oval Office after meeting with Trong, general secretary of the CPV.
Trong's visit came 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War and 20 years since Washington and Hanoi resumed diplomatic ties.
Over the past two years alone, the two countries have made significant progress on deepening cooperation in various fields, Obama said, adding that "this was an excellent opportunity for us to deepen our discussions around our vision for a comprehensive partnership."
Obama said he and Trong touched upon the Trans-Pacific Partnership in their meeting and discussed "candidly" on issues such as human rights and freedom of religion, while acknowledging that the US and Vietnam continue to have "significant differences in political philosophy and political systems."
Obama also said he believed that the differences can be resolved "in an effective fashion" through bilateral dialogues as well as cooperation in multilateral organizations.
Trong, for his part, noted the importance of Vietnam and the US having transformed from former enemies to comprehensive partners.
The two countries have risen above the past to overcome differences, Trong said, adding that he is "convinced that our relationship will continue to grow in the future."