KUSA - President Obama lifted a decades-long American arms embargo on Vietnam Monday, which, some argue, has created a new relationship between the two countries.
He made the announcement while visiting Hanoi. Vietnam's president said he is grateful for the United States' efforts to leave previous conflicts in the past, including the Vietnam War.
Ambassador Chris Hill, who also served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2005 until 2009, said this agreement solidifies progress.
"I think the president is stressing that we have a good relationship with Vietnam. No question we still have some differences, with Vietnam, we have differences over human rights, over some issues of religious freedom, but overall, we are two countries that are moving closer together," Ambassador Hill said. "And I think what the president is saying that we have to do away with some of the vestiges that are clearly stemming from an older era."
During President Obama's visit to Vietnam, he also signed a number of new agreements into effect, worth an estimated $16 billion.
"This is obviously a country that. for many Americans, is quite a heavy burden. But it's no longer the Vietnam war, it's a country called Vietnam. So we are looking to expand relationships," Ambassador Hill said. "Business has already gotten going. There's some enormous American factories in Vietnam. And we're also selling goods and services. During President Obama's trip, he's actually signed the final deal on 100 airplanes from Boeing Corporation for the Vietnamese Airliner."
After President Obama's visit in Vietnam, he became the fist sitting American president to visit Hiroshima.
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