Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Vietnam and US sign military co-operation agreement

The US navy released a statement saying US and Vietnam have signed a co-operation agreement in Hanoi, paving way for a future military relationship. The statement said, the two countries will work together on health, setting the stage for exchanges and research collaboration in military medicine.

The new agreement marks the first formal military co-operation between the former foes since the neutralisation of diplomatic relations in 1995. The Navy's Surgeon General Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson Jr said the agreement was not politically motivated but based on prospective future collaboration on health issues.

Robinson explained: “Medicine and medical research are universal languages that all countries and cultures understand. Diseases affect us all in the same way…By working together in areas such as infectious disease research, we not only help each other, we help the world meet these global health challenges."

The US is expanding military co-operation with the Southeast Asian nation despite concerns over Vietnam's human rights record. In fact, in recent months, a number of US lawmakers have urged President Barack Obama's administration to improve relations with Vietnam contingent on improvements in human rights.

Sources: AFP, The Australian

For more news and expert analysis about Vietnam, please see Vietnam Focus.

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