A senior US diplomat confirmed that Washington has provided five patrol vessels to Vietnam and will continue to do so to help improve Vietnam's Coast Guard.
In an interview published this week, Voice of America (VOA) quoted Puneet Talwar, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, this week following a visit to Hanoi, where he attended the seventh annual Vietnam - US Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue.
“We have been doing a lot of cooperation in terms of supporting the development of Vietnam’s Coast Guard," he said. "We are very proud of that work and we hope that it is also appreciated by the Vietnamese counterparts."
He also said the US will continue to provide vessels to help improve Vietnam' Coast Guard.
The provision of five boats was first announced by Secretary of State John Kerry during his 2013 visit to Vietnam.
Talwar said the two sides discussed a wide range of issues, from maritime security to peacekeeping, non-proliferation, humanitarian issues such as the removal of unexploded ordinance and MIA's, during the dialogue.
He said they also “exchanged views on the situation in the South China Sea and reaffirmed their shared interest in maintaining peace, stability, the freedom of navigation and overflight.”
He said his delegation’s visit to Vietnam is not about “selling any particular weapons systems or about transactional issues.”