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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.

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