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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, hello, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to have Chairman Trung here with us at the State Department in Washington.  I had a very, very positive visit to Vietnam just some months ago, and I greatly appreciate the hospitality as well as the very good exchanges that we had when I was there.  This is a very important year in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, the tenth year of our comprehensive partnership; much positive to account for over those ten years, and I think now opportunities to expand what are already strong ties between our two countries.

For the United States, Vietnam is a key Indo-Pacific partner.  And besides the work we’re already doing together, we see many places where we can expand cooperation, whether it comes to our climate partnership, expanding our economic ties, including through the Indo‑Pacific Economic Framework, and of course the work that we’re doing in our host year with APEC.  And underlying all of that, we hope, even stronger people-to-people connections.  I was – when I was in Vietnam – I think this was my third visit over the last seven or eight years – I was just struck, as always, by the incredible warmth, hospitality, and also extraordinary energy of Vietnamese people.  We are really grateful for the partnership, for the relationship, and of course I was very pleased to be able to do the groundbreaking of our new embassy, and thanks to you.

In any event, Mr. Chairman, welcome.  I’m very glad to have you here to pursue our important conversations.

CHAIRMAN TRUNG:  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary of State.  First of all, I’d like to thank you for writing a very nice letter to me after your successful trip to Vietnam, and thank you for spending the time with me and my colleagues here today.  And our leadership have the view that you had a very successful trip to Vietnam because you had the opportunity to discuss with the Vietnamese leaders and the leaders of all the government agencies about important, specific issues, and also about – and we had the opportunity to enhance the mutual understanding and especially to lay a very important basis for the further enhancement of our relations, especially after the successful telephone discussion between President Joe Biden and our general secretary, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong.

And Vietnam attaches great importance to our relations with the United States.  We are very glad to see the very rapid and comprehensive development of the relations in the interest of the two nations and also in the interest of peace and cooperation and friendship in the region and the world.

So we’re here today to – we hope that we (inaudible) have an opportunity to discuss with our American partners about how we would further promote our relations.  Thank you very much.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, everyone.

U.S. Department of State

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