Barack Obama has lifted a decades-old arms export embargo for Vietnam during his first visit to the communist country, looking to bolster a government seen as a crucial, though flawed partner even as he pushes for better human rights from the one-party state.
The US president announced the full removal of the embargo at a news conference, saying the move was intended to step toward normalizing relations with the former war enemy and to eliminate a “lingering vestige of the cold war”.
“At this stage, both sides have developed a level of trust and cooperation,” Obama said, adding that he expected deepening cooperation between the two nation’s militaries.
Obama is seeking to strike this balance with Vietnam amid Chinese efforts to strengthen claims to disputed territory in the South China Sea, one of the world’s most important waterways. Read More