United States President Barack Obama departs for Vietnam's visit

By REUTERS/Carlos Barria   May 21, 2016 | 05:59 pm PT
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to board Air Force One for travel to Vietnam and Japan from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. on May 21, 2016. 

The U.S. President Barack Obama's official visit to Vietnam will begin in Hanoi on Monday, May 23, according to the White House's statement released yesterday.


In a series of bilateral meetings with Vietnam's heads of state, Obama will discuss a range of issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); the countries' commercial ties; regional security issues like maritime security, disaster response, and mutual commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in the region; and emerging and growing people-to-people ties and cooperation in areas like education and entrepreneurship.

The President is expected to meet with the new chairwoman of the National Assembly in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

On May 24, the President will meet with members of Vietnam's civil society as he does in countries around the world. Following that, the President will give a speech to the Vietnamese people.

In Ho Chi Minh City, he will visit the Jade Pagoda followed by a meeting with young Vietnamese entrepreneurs, where he will discuss the benefits of TPP to both Vietnam and the U.S., and the TPP's prospects in promoting growth, job creation and also high standards of labor and the environment.

On May 25, the President will host a town hall with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

"I think this visit is unusually long -- we’re spending three days in Vietnam, going to two cities, addressing the strategic, security, economic, and people-to-people relationship that we’re building, and we intend for this to be a truly impactful visit in the history of U.S.-Vietnamese relations," said the White House.

Upon completing his Vietnam trip, Obama will head to Japan for the G7 Summit.

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