VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam Deputy Defence Minister – Sen. Lieut. Gen. Do Ba Ty – paid a visit to the Pentagon on June 20, marking a milestone in the US-Vietnam relations nearly 40 years after the Vietnam War.
Deputy Defence Minister Ty who is also the Chief of General Staff of Vietnam People’s Army met with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey at the Pentagon on the day.
Ty leads the high-ranking military delegation of Vietnam to the United States from June 17 to 22 and to the Republic of France from June 23 to 26.
“This was the first-ever visit by a Vietnamese chief of defence to the Pentagon,” Dempsey’s spokesperson Navy Commander Scott McIlnay said in a statement.
McIllnay reported Dempsey and Ty discussed the Obama administration’s “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.” Last year the Pentagon announced plans to shift its attention and additional military assets to the region.
According to Blooomberg, the Pentagon also informed Vietnam a number of military plans this year.
Ty’s visit reflects improving relations between the former combatants of a war that ended when Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) was totally liberated in 1975. The US and Vietnam resumed diplomatic relations in 1995.
After his six-day visit to the US, Ty will also pay a visit to France at the invitation of French Defence Staff Chief Admiral Édouard Guillaud.
The visits aim to strengthen ties of friendship and mutual understanding between the People’s Army of Vietnam with the U.S. Army and the Army of France, in accordance with the framework of relations of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and around the world.
The high-level military delegation of Vietnam includes: Lt. Gen. Phuong Minh Hoa, Commander of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Hung, Deputy Chief of the General Intelligence Department, Rear Admiral Nguyen Van Ninh, Deputy Navy Commander, Major General Pham Huu Manh, Chief of the General Staff Office and Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, Director of the External Relations Department.