The remarks were made by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc while addressing the eighth ASEAN-US Summit which was held virtually in Hanoi on November 14.

ASEAN countries and the US have maintained their partnership on the basis of mutual trust, respect and understanding for the common purpose of promoting stability, development and cooperation for mutual benefit.

As a strategic partner of ASEAN since 2015, the US has responsibly joined and contributed to efforts to consolidate trust and dialogue in the region through ASEAN-hosted frameworks.

The eighth ASEAN-US Summit takes place virtually on November 14 as part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings

It is an urgent need for countries to step up cooperation and coordination between countries amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 as well as traditional and non-traditional challenges, he said.

“We appreciate the US as one of the partners that have actively promoted many result-oriented cooperation initiatives to support ASEAN countries and the Southeast Asian region to improve their capacity for coping with the pandemic.”

Assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs Robert C. O’Brien commended Vietnam for its ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 amidst a range of challenges and thanked the country’s leadership in advancing the strategic partnership between ASEAN and the US.

The ASEAN-US strategic partnership has become more important as they work together to combat the coronavirus, he said, appreciating ASEAN partners’ efforts to keep a key supply chain open.

Over the past four years, cooperation in science, health, education, livelihood and security between the sides has grown dramatically, especially in the sphere of security, he said.

The US has invested economic growth in Southeast Asia, O’Brien said, adding that in 2019, trade between the grouping and the US reached over 354 billion USD.

“Our strategic partnership, representing aspects of billions, billions people, has never been stronger. It is the partnership of free, equal and independent nations,” he said.

The ASEAN-US Summit is of significance, demonstrating the importance both sides have attached to the ASEAN-US strategic partnership.

The US-ASEAN dialogue ties began in 1977 and the two sides established an enhanced partnership in 2005. The US joined the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in July 2009.

The US proposed and organised the first foreign ministers’ meeting with four lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) in July 2009.

The US was also one of the first dialogue countries to officially establish a diplomatic mission in ASEAN and send its resident ambassador to the ten-member grouping in 2010.

The ASEAN-US was elevated to a new height as the two sides officially set up a strategic partnership at the third ASEAN-US Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November 2015.

On November 13, the White House said in a statement that the US is pleased to mark the 5th anniversary of the US-ASEAN strategic partnership.

Source: VNA