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Vietnam Today

US carrier marks new Vietnam ties with port call

Released at: 13:25, 06/03/2018

US carrier marks new Vietnam ties with port call

The USS Carl Vinson arrived in Vietnam on March 5 (Photo from baomoi.com)

USS Carl Vinson and two other US Navy vessels arrive in Da Nang on March 5.

by Quang Huy

A ceremony was held on March 5 at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang to welcome the USS Carl Vinson on a historic visit marking the first time a US Navy aircraft carrier has docked in the country since the American War ended.

Also arriving in Da Nang were destroyer USS Wayne E. Mayer and cruiser the USS Lake Champlain, carrying a total of 6,500 crew members.

“This visit means a lot to Vietnam and Da Nang,” Director of the central city’s Department of Foreign Affairs Lam Quang Minh said.

The visit “demonstrates the dramatic progress that we have made in our bilateral relationship in recent years,” US Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Daniel Kritenbrink, said at a news conference with Vietnamese officials. The countries, he said, share “a desire to maintain peace, prosperity, unimpeded commerce [and] freedom of navigation upon which the region and our allies depend.”

“Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work towards a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners,” Ambassador Kritenbrink said.

The carrier’s visit to the city of 1.3 million people marks a high point in US-Vietnamese relations and follows a meeting in November between Presidents Tran Dai Quang and Donald Trump. Both governments share concerns about the maritime disputes at the East Sea, a resource-rich artery of global trade that is claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and China.

“It’s a pretty big and historic step, since a carrier has not been here for 40 years,” said Rear Admiral John V. Fuller, the commander of the Carl Vinson strike group.

The relationship between Vietnam and the US has reached new levels in recent years and the visit by the USS Carl Vinson is proof of this, said Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet.

Vice Admiral Philip G. Sawyer, commander of US 7th Fleet in the Pacific, said he hopes the relationship between the two countries will increase in the future and that a US submarine would one day visit Vietnam.

During their stay in Da Nang, US Navy officers will meet with Vietnamese counterparts and local authorities, who will be invited on a tour of the carrier.

They will also visit social sponsor centers and Agent Orange victims, and take part in friendly sporting events and a music show. The ships will leave Da Nang on March 9.

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