Joint Press Release: Fifth U.S.-Viet Nam Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue
As part of the fifth annual U.S.-Viet Nam Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue, Vice Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh and Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro and the two respective delegations met on June 20 in Hanoi to discuss bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest and concern. The talks reflect the continued cooperation between the United States and Viet Nam and build upon the success of the fourth Dialogue held in Washington, D.C. last year in June.
During this Fifth Dialogue, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship, which is based on friendship, mutual respect, and shared commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and secure Asia-Pacific region. The two sides affirmed their shared interest in elevating their partnership, as discussed during the 4th Dialogue in Washington, D.C. last year. They addressed measures to strengthen cooperation in multiple areas, including nonproliferation, counterterrorism, cooperation on law enforcement and information-sharing, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and other areas of defense cooperation as specified in the Memorandum of Understanding for Advancing Bilateral Defense Cooperation signed in September 2011. Both sides pledged to maintain cooperation on legacy issues, such as POW-MIA accounting and humanitarian demining, and to continue addressing dioxin and Agent Orange issues.
Recognizing the important role of the United States and Vietnam in maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, the two sides also engaged in a comprehensive discussion of security issues that reflect the depth and breadth of the growing relations between the two countries. The U.S. and Vietnamese delegations emphasized the importance of increasing cooperation in regional organizations, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI).
Delegates from both sides discussed ongoing developments in the South China Sea, and noted that the maintenance of peace, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation is in the common interests of the international community. The United States reaffirmed that it does not take a position on competing sovereignty claims over land features in the South China Sea. The two sides also shared the position that territorial disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved by peaceful means without coercion or the use of force and that territorial and accompanying maritime claims should comply with international law, including as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. The two sides reaffirmed the importance of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and their interest in continued progress toward a code of conduct that creates a rules-based framework for managing and regulating the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, including managing disputes and preventing conflicts.
The 6th Dialogue will take place in Washington, D.C. in 2013.