Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Government Guest House
July 10, 2012
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Minh, for your warm welcome today. It’s wonderful being back in Vietnam, and I appreciate this opportunity to reaffirm the growing and mutually beneficial partnership between our two nations.
I fondly remember my first visit here in the year 2000, and it’s remarkable now on my third visit as Secretary of State to see all the changes and the progress that we’ve made together. We’re working on everything from maritime security and nonproliferation to public health and disaster relief to promoting trade and economic growth. And of course, as the Minister and I discussed, we continued to address legacy issues such as Agent Orange, unexploded ordnance, and accounting for those missing in action as well.
Vietnam has emerged as a leader in the lower Mekong region and in Southeast Asia, and the United States and Vietnam share important strategic interests. When the Foreign Minister and I travel to the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, we will have a chance to engage with our colleagues such as regional integration, the South China Sea, cyber security, North Korea, and the future of Burma.
The United States greatly appreciates Vietnam’s contributions to a collaborative, diplomatic resolution of disputes and a reduction of tensions in the South China Sea. And we look to ASEAN to make rapid progress with China toward an effective code of conduct in order to ensure that as challenges arise, they are managed and resolved peacefully through a consensual process in accordance with established principles of international law. MORE.