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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 21, 2005

Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

President George W. Bush welcomed Prime Minister Phan Van Khai to the White House today to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral ties on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. The President and Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with progress to date and affirmed that U.S.-Vietnam relations are characterized by mutual respect, growing economic and commercial ties, shared interests in regional peace, prosperity, and security in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region, and increasing cooperation on a range of common concerns. Both leaders reaffirmed their intention to continue dialogue on issues on which differences remain.

The President and Prime Minister underscored the two countries’ common interest in further strengthening bilateral cooperation in the context of a stable and durable partnership. To this end, the President and Prime Minister stated their intention to bring bilateral relations to a higher plane by developing a friendly, constructive, and multi-faceted cooperative partnership on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit. In that spirit, the two leaders agreed to encourage greater contact between their countries’ respective executive and legislative branches, commercial and scientific communities, militaries, and citizens and to encourage more cultural and educational exchanges, in particular through the Vietnam Education Foundation. They further agreed to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on transnational issues, including the global fight against terrorism, transnational crime, narcotics, and trafficking in persons and to deepen cooperation on health and humanitarian issues, including the prevention of pandemics, especially of HIV/AIDS and Avian Influenza.

The President and Prime Minister applauded the success of our 2001 Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in accelerating two-way trade, and they reaffirmed their governments’ determination to implement fully the commitments made under that agreement. President Bush expressed strong support for Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization. The two leaders welcomed the substantial progress achieved on the complete range of issues in the recent bilateral negotiations regarding the obligations of membership and agreed to intensify efforts to resolve remaining issues. They also agreed to work together to promote favorable conditions for increased U.S. investment in Vietnam.

President Bush expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s ongoing cooperation in our joint humanitarian effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans who remain missing in action from the war, especially through Joint Field Activities that have identified and repatriated the remains of more than 520 U.S. soldiers. The Prime Minister reaffirmed Vietnam’s willingness to continue its close cooperation on this matter by carrying out newly agreed measures. The two leaders agreed to continue cooperation to address a range of issues that remain from the war.

The Prime Minister briefed the President on Vietnam's determination to further economic, social, and legal reforms. The two leaders agreed on the importance of continuing an open and candid dialogue on issues of common concern, including human-rights practices and conditions for religious believers and ethnic minorities. The President welcomed Vietnam's efforts to date and encouraged further progress.

The President and the Prime Minister attached great importance to the efforts of Vietnamese-Americans and Vietnamese residing in the United States in promoting friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries. The Prime Minister welcomed their contributions in strengthening Vietnam’s economic and social development, and he discussed his government’s efforts to encourage and facilitate visits and investment. The President welcomed these efforts and reiterated the U.S. government’s support for Vietnam’s security and territorial integrity.

The President and Prime Minister shared a vision of peace, prosperity, and security in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, and they agreed to cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally to promote these goals. The President underscored the United States Government’s support for peace, stability, and cooperation in Southeast Asia and for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Vietnam is an active member. The two leaders noted the central role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in supporting trade and investment liberalization and in promoting cooperative efforts to strengthen regional security. The President congratulated Vietnam on its decision to host the APEC Summit in Hanoi in 2006 and pledged to work closely with Vietnam and other member economies to make the Summit a great success. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai welcomed President Bush’s expression of support and invited the President to pay an official visit to Vietnam in conjunction with his attendance at the 2006 APEC Summit.

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