Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the security arrangements to welcome and host the visit of US President Barack Obama.
Obama may land at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport on Sunday night, a little earlier than the previous schedule which expected him to arrive at 0:10 a.m. on Monday, Tuoi Tre newspaper said on Sunday morning, quoting a source from the US Embassy in Hanoi.
The newspaper also quoted Major General Luong Van Khang, deputy head of the Guard Command unit under the Ministry of Public Security, as saying that all the plans to ensure the US president’s absolute safety is “ready”, with all the security forces being mobilized to be on duty 24/24 hours.
Khang said his unit has worked with the US Secret Service many times as well as met with police in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to adopt the security measures for Obama’s visit.
“The security units of both sides have surveyed the places where the US president will come and have divided each side’s boundary and responsibilities as well as outlined the collaboration in implementing the tasks,” Khang told Tuoi Tre.
The newspaper said security has been ramped up at and around a five-star hotel in Hanoi where Obama is set to stay on Monday and Tuesday.
Accordingly, all the apartments of a high-rise apartment building near the hotel were ordered to close their windows during the US president’s stay.
While the hotel where Obama will stay is not revealed, the hotels in the capital reportedly may host him and his entourage are JW Marriott, Hilton, Sofitel Plaza, Intercontinental, Metropole and Grand Plaza.
In Ho Chi Minh City, seven hotels – Riverie, Park Hyatt Saigon, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Caravelle, Sofitel and New World – are the places that the US president and his delegation may stay.
In related news, US Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, which transports equipment for Obama's visit, on Saturday afternoon landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City in heavy rain. Earlier, five other aircraft transporting equipment for the US president landed at the airport on Friday.
Obama will be the third consecutive U.S. president to visit Vietnam since diplomatic relations were restored in 1995, after Bill Clinton's first visit in 2000 and George W. Bush in 2006.
"What we want to demonstrate with this visit is a significant upgrade in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam ... even as we have areas of difference," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, as citing by Reuters on Sunday.
Obama's schedule in Vietnam
| On the night of May 22
The US President will land at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
On Monday, May 23
- Begin with an official arrival ceremony
- Have a meeting with Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang. Following that meeting, the two leaders will have a joint press conference.
- Interact with Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
Be hosted at a state luncheon
- Have a meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
- Have a meeting with General Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong.
On Tuesday, May 24
- Give a speech to Vietnamese people at the National Convention Center, Tu Liem District, Hanoi.
- Leave Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City.
- Visit Ngoc Hoang (Jade Emperor) Pagoda in HCMC's District 1.
- Meet young Vietnamese entrepreneurs at Dreamplex Co-working Space, District 1, HCMC.
On Wednesday, May 25
- Host a town hall with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at GEM Center, District 1, HCMC.
- Leave for Japan to attend the G7 Summit.