Fw: Foreign Pool Report -- POTUS-Trong Spray

From: Bryant Harris [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 01:51 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP
Subject: Foreign Pool Report -- POTUS-Trong Spray

Pool was escorted into the Oval Office at 12:32.

POTUS spoke before General Secretary Trong, periodically pausing for a translator to convey his remarks in Vietnamese. Please check quotes against transcript as per usual.

“As you heard I got an invitation to Vietnam,” POTUS opened. He called it “indicative of the remarkable progress that’s taken place in the relationship between our two countries over the last 20 years” and noted the “difficult history” between the U.S. and Vietnam.

The two leaders discussed deepening cooperation in science, technology, climate change, public health, and security. POTUS called Vietnam a “constructive partner” in these endeavors. However, he also said that they “discussed candidly some of our issues around human rights, for example, and freedom of religion.”

POTUS reiterated that TPP has the “enormous potential of a high standards trade agreement that raises labor standards, raise environmental standards, and could potentially create significant job growth and prosperity for both the Vietnamese and the American people.”

POTUS also emphasized “the importance of resolving maritime dispute in the South China Sea and through the Asia Pacific in accordance with international law” to ensure “prosperity and freedom of navigation.”

POTUS closed by thanking General Secretary Trong again for the visit and said “I certainly do look forward to visiting your beautiful country some time in the future.”

Trong spoke after POTUS, periodically pausing for translation into English. He noted that 20 years ago not too many people would have imagined a meeting between POTUS and the Vietnamese General Secretary. He characterized the meeting as “productive and frank." He noted that the U.S. and Vietnam have evolved from former enemies to friends and partners, attributing this to the “full support of the peoples of the two countries.”

Trong said that the two leaders agreed to continue to move the U.S.-Vietnam relationship forward in “all areas ranging from political, diplomatic cooperation, to economic trade and investment, education and training, environment, health, responding to climate change, to defense and security cooperation as well as better collaboration at regional and international forums.”

He also said that “in a constructive manner we also discussed our differences,” citing TPP and human rights.

Additionally, they discussed and shared views “on the recent developments in the South China Sea and also shared our concerns about the recent activities that are not in accordance with international law and that may complicate the situation.”

Trong reiterated his invitation for POTUS to visit Vietnam and said “I’m glad that the president had graciously accepted my invitation.”

He thanked POTUS again for the visit and pool was escorted out of the office at 12:49.


Bryant Harris
Washington Correspondent
The Yomiuri Shimbun

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