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The United States and
Vietnam have taken another step toward closer relations, holding policy-level
security talks recently on cooperation in areas such as disaster relief,
peacekeeping and search-and-rescue. The dialogue, now in its second year, aims
to promote candor, understanding, and common interest on issues of mutual
concerns, and to steadily advance security cooperation, in line with progress
in other areas of U.S.-Vietnam relations.
Greg Delawie, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political - Military
Affairs, and Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs,
discussed a range of topics during the annual talks.
Discussion focused on ways to advance cooperation on international peacekeeping
and disaster relief, maritime security and humanitarian operations, efforts to
combat drug trafficking and transnational crime. In addition, both sides
discussed expanding interaction and understanding between their two militaries,
and exchanged views on broad issues of regional security.
"If you think about the history of our two countries and the difficulties of
the not too distant past - these talks today are a powerful symbol of how far we
have come, Assistant Secretary Delawie said.
He noted that the US views its engagement with Southeast Asia as
important for its own security and consistent with its national interest.
Indeed, President Barack
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have placed a strong
emphasis on engaging with and listening to U.S. partners in the region.