Vietnam welcomes US aircraft carrier as bilateral ties reach new milestone

By Nguyen Dong   March 5, 2018 | 06:08 pm GMT+7
Vietnam welcomes US aircraft carrier as bilateral ties reach new milestone
The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson seen from Tien Sa Port, Da Nang, on March 3. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

The visit 'demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam,' U.S. ambassador to Vietnam said.

Vietnam held a ceremony on Monday afternoon to welcome the USS Carl Vinson on a historic visit marking the first time a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier has docked in the country since the Vietnam War ended.

The carrier arrived in Da Nang in the morning along with the destroyer USS Wanye 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,” said Lam Quang Minh, director of the central city’s department of foreign affairs.

“The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam," Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, told the ceremony.

"Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners," he said.

“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.

U.S. Navys cruiser USS Lake Champlain in Tien Sa Port, Da Nang City in central Vietnam on March 3. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

U.S. Navy cruiser the USS Lake Champlain in Tien Sa Port on March 3. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

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

Vice Admiral Philip G. Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific, said he hoped the relationship between the two nations will increase in the future. He hopes a U.S. submarine would one day visit Vietnam. 

During their stay in Da Nang, U.S. Navy officers will meet their 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 U.S. ships will leave Tien Sa Port in Da Nang on Friday.

 
 
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