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US defense chief foresees boost in military ties

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Khanh Hoa province’s Cam Ranh Bay.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on June 3 that Vietnam-US relations still hold a lot of potential for further development as he was on board a Navy supply ship, the USNS Richard E. Byrd, currently anchored in Khanh Hoa province’s Cam Ranh Bay.
Speaking to the media, Secretary Panetta said his working visit to Vietnam this
time is to deepen military ties with the country based on the military co-operation agreement reached between the nations last year.
Accordingly, both sides have agreed to co-operate in search and maritime rescue efforts, disaster relief, security, maritime safety and freedom.
Secretary Panetta also thanked the Vietnamese Government for its efforts to search for
the remains of US troops missing during the war.
He is scheduled to pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and meet with senior officials, including Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh on June 4.
Secretary Panetta’s visit came after he announced at the Shangri-La Dialogue, which ended on June 3 in Singapore, that 60% of US Navy warships will be stationed in the Asia Pacific in the
next decade.

(VNA)