Author Topic: President Obama visit Vietnam to further strengthen ties  (Read 167 times)

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Offline legendguru

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President Obama visit Vietnam to further strengthen ties
« on: May 23, 2016, 12:58:56 AM »

Forty-one years after the end of one of the most divisive wars in American history, experts say ties between the U.S. and Vietnam have never been closer.

In fact, there are calls coming both from within the U.S. Defense Department and from the Hanoi government for President Barack Obama to further strengthen the relationship by completely lifting the decades-long arms embargo. Obama arrived early Monday for a visit to Vietnam.

The president has the power to bypass Congress and lift the lethal weapons ban on Vietnam on his own. But one U.S. lawmaker his administration likely would appreciate support from is Republican Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.

McCain has witnessed the changes in relations firsthand between the two wartime enemies.

Prisoner of war

The Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee was a young Navy aviator during the Vietnam War. His plane was shot down and he spent 5 years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, enduring torture and neglect.

But the decorated veteran bears no bitterness, as he told reporters in an exclusive interview.

I think when we normalized relations that there was reconciliation between our countries and people," McCain said.

"Look, there are some individuals that mistreated me in prison that I hope I never see again. But that doesn't change my opinion that the Vietnamese people are wonderful and dear friends, and we need them and they need us and I see a bright future in our relationships with hopefully improvement on human rights issues," he added.

McCain told VOA he has been back to Vietnam at least 20 times over the years, and he says the changes are profound.



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