President Obama’s historic trip to Asia gives hope in building a Prosperous Relationship
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News May 24, 2016 Updated: 1:44 PM
President Barack Obama and President Tran Dai Quang listen to their countries' anthems at the welcoming ceremony. Photo:
While on an historic visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, American President Barack Obama said he will lift the U.S. embargo on selling arms to America's former enemy, Vietnam. In a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, President Obama said his hope is for a more trusting and prosperous relationship going forward.
Most Americans remember that between 1965-1975 the United States was at war with Vietnam. It was the only war America lost with a death toll of 57,000 American military personnel and nearly 2 million Vietnamese military and civilians. President Quang said, "the wounds of the war have not been fully healed in both countries, but both sides are determined to have a more cooperative relationship.” President Obama remarked “if you consider where we have been and where we are now, the transformation in the relations between our two countries is remarkable."
During an elaborate lunch in honor of the visit from the American President, Tran Dai Quang told their guest, “he was grateful for the American people's efforts to put an end to an unhappy chapter in the two countries' history."
Vietnam veteran Ted Neilen, and other veteran groups from that war, support President Obana’s decision. Neilen said, “We are acting as a team in a sense, joining together in a show of strength.”
Fellow Vietnam veteran Ned Foote said, “Americans long ago forgave Germany and Japan for World War II, so there's no reason not to do the same with Vietnam.” Foote, heads the New York State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, said, “the Vietnamese have helped account for missing American service members.”
Massive rowds lined the streets of Hanoi as President Obama's motorcade drove to various destinations arounf the city. When Obama emerged from a restaurant, he stopped to shake hands with members of the jubilent crowd and waved, before get back in the limousine.
A White House official said President Obama will address the Vietnamese people on Tuesday morning to stress the importance of having a "constructive dialogue" even when the two nations disagree on issues, including on human rights.
Bill Wise, senior associate director of the Southeast Asian studies program at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said the arms embargo was "an anachronism" and the lifting will demonstrate to Communist Party skeptics that engagement with the U.S. is paying off.