WASHINGTON — The United States and Vietnam are “like-minded partners” that have a forward-looking relationship, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday as he concluded a visit to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.
Mattis and Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich met yesterday to discuss regional security issues. The secretary said he also met with the president of Vietnam and the general secretary of the Communist Party there.
“This is the normal coordination, collaboration, consultation, as we work out a relationship with Vietnam, and leaving things in the past as our starting point,” Mattis told reporters traveling with him en route to Honolulu after leaving Vietnam.
He said the United States and Vietnam share values based on mutual respect and common interests, including freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and recognition of national sovereignty.
“We’re finally finalizing details on the possible visit of U.S. carriers going to Vietnam sometime this spring,” Mattis said. Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said Mattis and Lich agreed to work toward a visit by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March.
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