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Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink at the press conference

 

On the occasion of ending his working term in Vietnam, on April 7, 2021, at the headquarters of the US Embassy, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink had a press conference to share his viewpoints about the Vietnam-US partnership and his experiences over three years in Vietnam. The Ambassador expressed his thoughts on the Vietnam-US relationship's achievements in the past 25 years and this relationship's progress in the past three years of his tenure.

Vietnam is one of the most important partners of the United States

Firstly, Ambassador Kritenbrink expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese government and people who have supported him and his family to fulfill his mission for more than three and a half years. He felt satisfied with jobs in his term, being touched by the country's beauty and Vietnamese people's kindness and generosity.

Emphasizing the Vietnam-US relationship's extraordinary achievements has gained over the past 25 years, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink shared about the milestones during his term. He said that he is very proud of what the two countries have gained, especially in reconciliation, humanitarian assistance, responsibly solving the remaining issues after the war, such as handling dioxin contamination at airports of Da Nang and Bien Hoa, supporting Agent Orange victims, dismantling bombs, mines, unexploded ordnance, finding soldiers missing in war …etc. He affirmed that these issues will continue to be a concerned the next time. The US is persisting with the responsible treatment for the aftermath of the war in Vietnam, including accomplishing the cleanup at the Danang airport, is detoxifying the dioxin at Bien Hoa airport, and handling unexploded ordnances in the central of Vietnam. The two sides continue to search for the soldiers' remains missing in the war.

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On April 7, 2021, at the headquarters of the US Embassy, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink had a press conference to share his viewpoints about the Vietnam-US partnership and his experiences over three years in Vietnam

 

“I believe that the comprehensive Vietnam-US partnership is stronger than ever. Together, we have achieved substantial results for the people of the two countries", he said.

Ambassador Kritenbrink also gave some examples to demonstrate that strong relationship. Trade between the two countries is growing exponentially, bringing the turnover to 46.5 billion USD. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam was the fastest export market of the US in the world, and the US was the largest export market of Vietnam. The US and Vietnam signed trade agreements worth $ 46.5 billion.

Security cooperation has also developed significantly, especially cooperating between the two militaries. "Vietnam hosted the 2019 US-North Korean summit. We have promoted the two countries' joint positions on the South China Sea issue. The US continues to support Vietnam's maritime capacity, assist to send the United Nations peacekeeping force of Vietnam to South Sudan. The US aircraft carrier has had the first two visits to Vietnam since the war",  Ambassador Kritenbrink said.

In terms of education, nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the US. The two sides also signed an agreement to bring the Peace Organization volunteers to Vietnam to teach English.

Based on what the two countries have done for the past 20 years, medical cooperation is also a bright spot in the bilateral relationship. The US supports Vietnam with nearly 1 billion USD in the health sector. Last year, the US provided Vietnam with 13 million USD and 100 ventilators to fight the pandemic. “I know that A friend in need is a friend indeed and we were very touched when we received protective equipment and masks from the Vietnamese people, helping to save  American's lives”, he said.

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Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink shared his experiences in Vietnam

 

According to the Ambassador, in difficult situations, the US realizes that Vietnam is "one of the best friends". " A friend in need is a friend indeed. In the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that there is no better friend than Vietnam. We will be forever grateful for this" - Ambassador Kritenbrink emphasized.

The Ambassador also share his significant journeys to visit localities in Vietnam. "I am deeply moved and proud that I am the first US Ambassador to visit Truong Son martyrs cemetery in Quang Tri and martyrs Cemetery in Ho Chi Minh city. Together with US and Vietnamese veterans, we hold hands and walked on Ham Rong Bridge. These activities can help us closer and promote more mutual trust and the reconciliation spirit between the two countries"- Ambassador Kritenbrink said.

Ambassador Kritenbrink said the two countries worked closely with each other when Vietnam was Asian 2020's President and was the UN Security Council's non-permanent member in two years.

He also said that the groundbreaking ceremony of the US Embassy's new headquarters may take place this year.

 

"I have a very high expectation of  Vietnam's role and position in the future. Vietnam is a country with high capacity. You have excellently assumed the responsibility of the ASEAN Chair in 2020 and continued to fulfill the role of UN Security Council's non-permanent member. To give a brief assessment of Vietnam's leaders, I have three words: "strategy, capacity, and reality". That is the key to help Vietnam to get success" - Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink

 

Optimism about the Vietnam-US relationship in the future: "The limit to the relationship between the US and Vietnam expands like a high sky"

Assessing the achievements of the bilateral relationship over the past 25 years in all fields from politics, economy, defense, culture, and education, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink expressed optimism about this comprehensive relationship's future. He also expressed optimism about the bilateral relationship in the next 25 years and beyond.

Ambassador Kritenbrink affirmed that the US and Vietnam still have many things can do together to promote this relationship. "I am confident that this development will continue under President Joe Biden. President Joe Biden also believes that supporting a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam is in America's national interest. In the next 25 years, we will continue to develop this relationship based on a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect. This will be our top priority in the next 25 years "- Ambassador American emphasized.

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said that the interests of two countries in the basic fields have many similarities: “We share a common strategic vision of the regional structural model that we want to live in. We will continue to responsibly and practically resolve the differences between the two sides.”

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink added that, while focusing on strategic goals, the United States and Vietnam will focus on the real interests of the two peoples. He expressed his belief that the two countries' relationship, friendship will continue to grow strongly.

 

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink : “We share a common strategic vision of the regional structural model that we want to live in. We will continue to responsibly and practically resolve the differences between the two sides.”

 

When reviewing the results that the two countries have achieved in recent years, Ambassador Kritenbrink affirmed that it was impossible not to mention regular and close high-level visits. Those visits will continue under President Joe Biden's administration. He believes that the relationship, friendship, and sentiment between the two peoples will keep on growing stronger each day. He emphasized that America is better known in Vietnam than anywhere in the world. “I think the coming years will be even better for the Vietnam-US partnership. We will see major developments, especially as President Biden emphasizes the development of the relations between the US and allies and partners. Extremely optimistic about the US and Vietnam relationship's future, I think that the high sky is the limit for the relationship between the two countries Vietnam - America "- Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said.

Vietnamese leaders sent congratulatory telegrams on the occasion of President Joe Biden's inauguration. For his part, President Joe Biden also sent a congratulatory letter on the occasion of Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong's continued election as General Secretary of Vietnam's Communist Party, term XIII. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry also had telephone conversations with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink affirmed, President Joe Biden said that supporting a strong and prosperous Vietnam is the national interest of the United States: "In the next 25 years, we will keep on developing our relationship based on a solid and effective foundation for the two countries' benefits".

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US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink took the photos with journalists

 

US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink clearly stated the US's stance on the South China Sea issue.

When answering questions from the press at the press conference, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink clearly stated the US's stance on debates in the South China Sea issue. Mr. Daniel Kritenbrink affirmed that the US continues to be consistent in the South China Sea issue, opposing threats and provocations from China.

"We believe that the peaceful settlement of disputes according to international law and all maritime claims must be based on international law," said Mr. Kritenbrink. He affirmed the US administration under US President Joe Biden has always shown a consistent stance on the South China Sea.

At the same time, he emphasized, Washington continues to believe in the rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, taking a side with allied partners, supporting a law-based international order. And, the US will continue to oppose all threats and provocations in the South China Sea, especially such actions from China.

Once again, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink reaffirmed the US statement dated July 13, 2020, on the claims in the South China Sea, which asserted that China's claim in these waters was "illegal".

In the coming time, the US will continue to have diplomatic activities including legal diplomacy to promote common goals with friends and partners in the region.

At the same time, the US will participate in programs to strengthen maritime capacity, not only with Vietnam but also with other countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines. The US military also continues to operate where international law allows, the Ambassador added.

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US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink shook hands goodbye Mr. Nguyen Hai Giang - Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam-US Magazine and expressed his wish that Vietnam-US Magazine would continue to be a bridge in the Vietnamese - American people's diplomatic relations

 

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink began working as the US Ambassador to Vietnam on October 26, 2017, and now he is preparing to end his term in Vietnam after 4 years. Preparing to close his diplomatic mission in Vietnam, he received a nomination for the position of Secretary of State to East Asia.