News / USA

    'Candid' Talks with Vietnam's Sang on Human Rights, Obama Says

    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang in the Oval Office of the White House, July 25, 2013.
    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang in the Oval Office of the White House, July 25, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama says he had a "very candid" conversation with his Vietnamese counterpart about human rights when he hosted Truong Tan Sang at the White House.

    Thursday's meeting earned Sang the honor of being only the second Vietnamese leader to hold talks with a United States president in Washington since the former wartime enemies normalized relations in 1995.

    Sitting alongside Sang, Obama told reporters that Washington believes all nations should respect freedoms of speech, religious and assembly. Sang said Vietnam and the United States still have differences on the human rights issue.

    Some U.S. lawmakers and rights groups accuse the Vietnamese government of intensifying repression of political dissidents and religious figures in recent years and failing to stop the practice of forced labor.

    They have urged Obama to make closer economic ties with Vietnam conditional on that nation's progress on human and labor rights.

    A group about 500 rights activists protested the Obama-Sang meeting in Lafayette Park adjacent to the White House as the talks were under way. Most of the demonstrators were Vietnamese Americans from the Washington area. Some had come from Canada and as far away as the midwestern U.S. state of Minnesota.

    Vietnamese President Sang defended his record on those issues at a luncheon hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday.

    Sang said Vietnamese religious leaders in his delegation held "straightforward, open discussions" with U.S. officials to help them develop a "better understanding about the real situation" in Vietnam.

    He also said his government has made "sustained efforts to protect and promote human rights," enabling the Vietnamese people to benefit from what he called "the finest results" of Vietnam's reform process.

    Speaking Thursday, Obama said he reached agreement with Sang on forming a "comprehensive partnership" to allow greater U.S.-Vietnam cooperation in commerce, military affairs, disaster relief and scientific exchanges.

    Obama said he sought Sang's support in securing a Pacific region free trade agreement by the end of this year. The United States and Vietnam are among 12 Pacific area nations negotiating a free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Obama has been trying to boost American influence in Southeast Asia as the region's U.S.-friendly nations look to Washington as a counterweight to China's growing assertiveness in disputes with neighboring states.

    Obama accepted an invitation to visit Vietnam before the end of the U.S. president's second term, Sang said.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora