US to boost national defense cooperation with Vietnam

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The United States is keen on improving cooperation with Vietnam in national defense, local newswire Vietnamnet quoted Ambassador Michael Michalak as saying on Wednesday.

The cooperation would cover three areas: army medicine, humanitarian aid and natural disaster relief, and English teaching, the newswire said.

This year the hospital ship USNS Mercy and the Operation Pacific Angel, a recurring combined humanitarian assistance mission, would visit Vietnam, the ambassador said at a press conference held in Hanoi on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

He mentioned the possibility of sending more Vietnamese army students to US for studying, adding that the two countries would discuss natural disaster relief and rescue operations as well.

Vietnam and US have made considerable progress in national defense cooperation with several Vietnamese delegations visiting the US on field trips, the newswire reported.

Michalak said that the US would also continue supporting Vietnam in furthering administrative reforms and improving its investment environment.

The agreement on bilateral investment between the two countries, and the Transpacific Partnership Agreement between the US with Vietnam and some other countries would be discussed this year, Michalak said.

He said the US planned to establish a center for education consulting as well as a university in Vietnam, noting that the number Vietnamese students studying in the US last year tripled compared to that of three years ago.

Asked about the possibility of President Barrack Obama visiting Vietnam, the ambassador said he was making efforts to make it happen.

It was very likely that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would visit Vietnam this year when the two countries celebrated the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations, he said.

Source: Thanh Nien

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