Vietnam, US agree to strengthen cooperation in fight against Covid

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 29 (EFE).- The United States and Vietnam agreed on Thursday to strengthen military cooperation in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement was signed during US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s official visit to Hanoi as part of his three-nation tour to South East Asia with stops in Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam.

During a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang, Austin pledged to send medical material to Vietnam, which has experienced its worst outbreak of coronavirus in the last three months.

The two defense ministers also discussed issues related to security in the region and the Vietnam War, including the search for missing bodies of US soldiers, the eradication of mines and other explosives, as well as the decontamination of areas affected by the defoliant chemical Agent Orange, which was used by the US army as part of their herbicidal warfare program.

Austin, who arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday after visiting Singapore, also met with the country’s prime minister Pham Minh Chinh and president Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The US secretary’s visit to the continent comes as the US tries to boost its presence in a region amid China’s growing influence.

Beijing is embroiled in a territorial conflict in the South China Sea with Vietnam, the Philippines and four other countries in the region.EFE


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