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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid