Vietnam PM meets McCain, requests greater economic assistance

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Vietnam will continue to take the US as a leading development partners, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Thursday in meeting with John McCain and other US senators on a Southeast Asia visit.

He said Vietnam and the US in the coming time need to boost further cooperation in commerce and investment, and asking the senators to help persuade the US government to apply the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, to Vietnam.

GSP is a system of exemption that obliges World Trade Organization member countries to treat the imports of all other member countries no worse than they treat the imports of their "most favored" trading partner.

The PM also asked for greater US support to deal with aftermath of war, especially the impacts of Agent Orange, as well as with modern problems such as climate change and the rising sea levels, according to a Vietnam News Agency report.

McCain, a senior Republic senator from Arizona and a former pilot who was imprisoned for five and a half years in Hanoi during the Vietnam War, promised he would work to increase US assistance in many areas.

He said the US could help Vietnam protect the Mekong River water resource from the impacts of hydropower plants and mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as improve the skills of Vietnamese forces working to maintain marine security.

The senator, also a vice chairman of the US Armed Services Committee, was in Vietnam for a three day visit ending Friday with three other senators Joseph Lieberman, Sheldon Whitehouse and Kelly Ayott.


The delegation also met with Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh.

Thanh lauded recent growth in military cooperation between Vietnam and the US, including an agreement on establishing formal military medical partnership between the two countries signed last  August.

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