Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong on Thursday affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring and enhancing the Vietnam-US relations, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong (R) shakes hands with former US President Bill Clinton in Hanoi on July 2, 2015. Photo credit: Vietnam News Agency
He told Bill Clinton, who was in Hanoi the same day, that he appreciated the contributions made by Clinton and his wife, Hilary Clinton, to removing trade embargos and normalizing and boosting relations with Vietnam.
The former US president visited Vietnam on the 20th anniversary of normalization of relations between the US and Vietnam.
Clinton ended the US trade embargo against Vietnam in 1994 and announced normalization of relations the following year.
In 2000, he was the first US president to visit Vietnam after the end of Vietnam War.
During their meeting, Trong also hailed the support of the Clinton Foundation for Vietnam’s efforts to alleviate poverty, address war aftermaths and protect the environment.
Clinton spoke highly of the achievements Vietnam has made over the last 20 years.
He emphasized the progress in bilateral relations, especially in the two-year implementation of the comprehensive partnership and said that the US treasures and wishes to further enhance its multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam.
He said the two countries need to intensify exchanges of high-ranking delegations and stressed the significant importance of Trong's US visit this month.
Normalization of relations... heal the wounds of war, build bonds of genuine friendship" -- Bill Clinton
On Thursday evening, Clinton spoke as guest of honor at a reception hosted by the US Embassy to celebrate American Independence Day and the 20th anniversary of normalization of relations between the US and Vietnam.
In a speech reviewing Vietnam-US cooperation, he described normalization of relations as "one of the most important achievements of my presidency," and said it helped lift the burden that had been weighing down the American spirit since the Vietnam War, AP reported.
He said it helped "heal the wounds of war, build bonds of genuine friendship and to provide proof in an increasingly divided world that cooperation was far better than conflict."