Fw: Hanoi 19 Jul Pool report #2

----- Original Message -----
From: Tan Qiuyi [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2015 06:00 PM
To: Gleeson, James M. EOP; 'xxx@email.com'
Cc: Spector, Stephen I. EOP
Subject: Hanoi 19 Jul Pool report #2

Pool report #2
19 July 2015, HANOI

US Second Lady Dr Jill Biden met Vietnam Vice-President Nguyen Thi Doan at the Presidential Palace on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mdm Doan said she appreciates Dr Biden’s arrival in Vietnam -- especially after Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s historic visit to the US earlier this month, which she called “a great success”.

Dr Biden thanked her host and said she had read Mdm Doan’s bio.

They were the same age, she said, which meant they had experienced the Vietnam War at the same time.

“I already read your bio as well,” Mdm Doan jumped in in English.

“I am a teacher, you’re a teacher also,” she said, prompting a round of smiles on both sides.

Dr Biden said she was struck that the US and Vietnam were moving in “such a positive direction” despite their troubled history.

The upcoming Fulbright University in Vietnam is one area that “really excites me”, Dr Biden told the Vice-President.

She added the US will continue to support Vietnam in improving access to education for women and girls in the emerging Southeast Asian nation.

Press pool was ushered out at this point.

In Dr Biden’s delegation were US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scot Marciel, and USAID Senior Advisor for International Education Christie Vilsack.

Dr Biden’s talks with VP Doan lasted for about 50 minutes.

Earlier, Dr Biden visited the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency or DPAA, housed in a colonial-era villa in Hanoi’s leafy diplomatic quarter.

Major David Klingensmith of the DPAA briefed the delegation on the agency’s work – from research and witness interviews, field survey and recovery, to repatriation of missing US soldiers’ remains.

Maj Klingensmith said the DPAA has a “fantastic relationship” with the Vietnamese government, “a unique and mature relationship”.

Klingensmith introduced the DPAA team, and Dr Biden told them they were "unsung heroes" who continue the work of bringing missing soldiers home.

She said she had relatives who served in Vietnam, and the war was a part of her personal history.

She looked visibly moved as she thanked the team.

“As a mother of a soldier I deeply appreciate your efforts, which mean so much to us and our families.”

Dr Biden is in Vietnam, the second stop in her tour of four Asian countries to engage government and civil society partners on economic empowerment and education for women and girls.

Tan Qiuyi, Channel NewsAsia

TAN Qiuyi
Vietnam Correspondent
Channel NewsAsia
Email: xxx@email.com
Follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/QiuyiCNA

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