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Vietnamese, US defence chiefs hold talks

Washington D.C.
(VNA)
– Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich held talks with US Secretary of
Defence James Mattis in Washington D.C. on August 8 following a welcome
ceremony the same day. 

Lich, who is on US visit from
August 7-10, said Vietnam considers the US one of the top important partners
and always prioritises developing bilateral ties based on the principles of
equality, respect for political regime, independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity of each country.

He spoke highly of the US’s
collaboration with the Vietnamese coast guards in law enforcement at sea as
well as in the United Nations peacekeeping mission.

The two officials hailed the
outcomes of bilateral ties on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on
promoting defence links and the Declaration on the Joint Vision on bilateral
defence ties covering the exchange of all-level delegations, training, dialogue
consultation, maritime security, search and rescue, bomb and mines clearance, Agent
Orange/dioxin detoxification, and United Nations peacekeeping activities.

They agreed to reinforce
coordination under signed agreements, with priority given to post-war recovery
efforts in Vietnam, response to non-traditional security challenges and the UN
peacekeeping activities.

About dioxin clean-up in
contaminated areas, Lich said the two sides have concluded the first stage of
the Da Nang airport remediation project and are embarking on the second stage
to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2017. They are
also conducting studies to launch a similar project at Bien Hoa airport in the
southern province of Dong Nai.

Host and guest also talked
about the upcoming Vietnam visit by a US aircraft carrier, saying that agencies
concerned will further discuss the trip when the carrier meets necessary
technical requirements.

Mattis, for his part, lauded
Vietnam for its effective joint efforts in seeking remains of US servicemen
listed as Missing in Action (MIA) during the war.

He pledged continued support
to Vietnam in seeking remains of Vietnamese soldiers missing in the war and
cleaning up the traces of dioxin at Bien Hoa airport.

On the occasion, Lich handed
over a new document on locations of searching remains of MIA servicemen to the
host, making it easier for both sides to continue the effort.

In the afternoon the same
day, Lich visited the US Coast Guard.-VNA

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