An overview of the meeting

At the meeting, the two sides reviewed the cooperative outcomes between Vietnam and the U.S. since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2013 and discussed measures to enhance coordination for the 2023-2028 period.

Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien affirmed Vietnam's willingness to cooperate with the U.S. to overcome the consequences of post-war UXO and expressed hope that bilateral cooperation would be continuously reinforced and developed. He urged the U.S. to provide long-term funding to help Vietnam in this field. The deputy defense minister also said that Vietnam would continue to work closely with partners from the U.S. to effectively implement cooperative activities and achieve the set goals.

Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien (right) and U.S. Ambassador Marc E.Knapper at the event
Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien hands over a souvenir to U.S. Ambassador Marc E.Knapper.

Ambassador Marc E. Knapper acknowledged the efforts made by the U.S. to fulfill its commitments under the 2013 MoU by boosting funding activities directly and indirectly via international organizations and NGOs operating in this field. He emphasized the need for the two sides to enhance delegation exchanges at all levels to strengthen cooperation in overcoming war-left consequences, particularly UXO aftermath.

For the 2023-2028 period, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien suggested that the U.S. continue to implement its commitments, including speeding up the completion of a training ground meeting the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and supporting research and development activities.

The two sides agreed to build a cooperation plan to address UXO consequences for the 2023-2028 period and an annual plan for other cooperative and supportive activities for Vietnam, based on the content of the 2013 MoU and the nine points proposed by the U.S. to support Vietnam.

Delegates watch photos on the bilateral collaboration between Vietnam and the U.S. in overcoming post-war aftermath.

The Vietnamese side wished that the U.S. would prioritize direct funding for Vietnamese partners and reputable international organizations in Vietnam, expand support to other areas contaminated with UXO beyond the central provinces, and strive to achieve the goal of clearing about 350,000ha of contaminated land from 2023 to 2028. Over the past decade, Vietnam has cleared up around 500,000 ha of UXO-contaminated land with U.S. assistance, which includes funding to provide technical advisors for the national strategic plan, developing the National Bombs and Mines Database Center, identifying areas contaminated with UXO through technical survey, training on handling bombs and mines, training medical staff according to IMAS, training and supporting underwater UXO clearance equipment, and funding the construction of a demining training ground for the Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) in Ba Vi district, Hanoi, among others.

Translated by Trung Thanh