US lifts arms embargo on Vietnam

Hanoi, May 23 (IANS) President Barack Obama, who is on a three day visit to Vietnam, on Monday announced the US is lifting a decade-long arms embargo on the country.

Obama at a press conference co-chaired with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, said the US may sell military weapons to Vietnam under a case-by-case basis, Xinhua news agency reported.

Quang, for his part, said: “Vietnam welcomes US decision to completely lift arms embargo.”

The US imposed arms embargo on Vietnam in 1984 and the country has been under the embargo despite the normalisation of diplomatic ties in 1995.

In July 2013, former Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and Obama launched the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership during Sang’s visit to the US.

In 2014, the US partially lifted the 30-year-old arms embargo, allowing transfer of maritime security-related defence articles to Vietnam.

Pham Quang Vinh, Vietnamese ambassador to the US said ahead of Obama’s visit that the embargo was “the last barrier in bilateral ties”.

Obama arrived at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi late on Sunday, kicking off his first visit as US president.

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