Remarks With Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 30, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon. I’m happy to welcome somebody I’ve known for a long, long time, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh. And I want to congratulate him on his elevation, his promotion to deputy prime minister and also a member of the politburo. I’m very happy to have a chance to talk this afternoon about the major progress that we have been making in the relationship with Vietnam in the last few years, particularly with the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam is going to be making major steps forward on its economic policy. And also, we are working together on a number of security issues, counterterrorism and the South China Sea maritime issues. So there are a lot of mutual interests.

We are particularly excited about the trip that we will be making to Vietnam. President Obama will be traveling there. I look forward to joining the President in an historic trip. And we very much look forward to continuing to make progress on the combination of the trans-Pacific trade issues, trade partnership, and also on human rights, which we are constantly having an ongoing dialogue on.

So I welcome the Deputy Prime Minister to this important conference and also to continued efforts on our bilateral issues. Thank you.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER MINH: Thank you. Thank you, Secretary John Kerry. Thank you very much for the chance to have meeting with you today. Vietnam and the United States are in a very comprehensive partnership. Secretary John Kerry and I have had a good set of interaction.

I met with Secretary John Kerry last month in Sunnylands during the – on the occasions of the U.S.-ASEAN summit in Sunnylands, California. And today, we are having the discussions. We are looking forward to the fruitful discussions on bilateral issues as well as regional issues of our concern, including the Eastern Sea, or South China Sea. And also we are talking about the preparations for the visit by President Obama in May. So thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Thank you. Good to see you. Thank you.