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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Obama Lifts US Arms Ban On Vietnam During Visit

The US President declares "hearts can change and peace is possible" as he announces the full lifting of the decades-long embargo.



Mr Obama - the third US president to visit the country since ties were restored in 1995 - said the decision to lift the arms trade ban showed "hearts can change and peace is possible".
Air Force One touched down in Hanoi just after 9:30pm local time (2.30pm GMT) on Sunday, the start of a three-day trip in which he will meet Vietnam's communist leadership.
U.S. President Barack Obama receives flowers as he arrives at Noibai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam
Mr Obama met Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and congratulated him on the "extraordinary progress" Vietnam had made.
"Whether we are talking about commercial and economic ties or military-to-military consultations or humanitarian work or our legacy of war issues... Across the board what we've seen is increased cooperation for the benefit of both our peoples," he said.
Mr Obama is also due to meet Vietnam's Prime Minister and the country's de facto leader Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party.
Mr Obama is expected to stress improving relations with the emerging nation, as both countries look to push trade and check China's growing assertiveness.
Suspected Agent Orange victim Truc Thi Mai is comforted by a family member
Few countries have seen such a dramatic turnaround in their relations since intense reconciliation efforts, led by Mr Obama's Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton.
Mr Clinton became the first post-war president to visit Vietnam in 2000.
The Obama administration now sees the country as a vital plank in America's much vaunted pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.
Vietnam's leadership hopes to strengthen ties with the US, particularly as it argues with Beijing over disputed waters

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