Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Meeting with Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Lich

(U.S. Department of Defense)

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosted Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich for an official counterpart visit on August 8 to discuss the growing U.S.-Vietnam defense relationship and regional security challenges.

The Secretary and the Minister of Defense agreed to deepen defense cooperation, including by expanding maritime cooperation. The Ministers also directed their staffs to work toward arranging a first carrier visit to Vietnam once technical conditions permit.

The Secretary highlighted the robust level of peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and Coast Guard cooperation, including the recent transfer of a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter to improve Vietnam’s maritime law enforcement capabilities.

The two leaders agreed that a strong U.S.-Vietnam defense relationship promotes regional and global security. This relationship is based on mutual respect and common interests, including the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and globally, respect for international law, and recognition of national sovereignty. The Secretary welcomed Vietnam’s engagement and growing leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.