Former US President Bill Clinton, who is President of the Clinton Foundation, affirmed that the organisation would continue to help Viet Nam in HIV/AIDS prevention and expand co-operation in coping with climate change and managing water resources, especially in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.
Clinton made the remark during a reception with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Ha Noi yesterday.
At the reception, both sides discussed active developments in the Viet Nam-US relationship after 15 years of normalisation, prospects for the future and the Clinton Foundation's activities related to HIV/AIDS prevention and climate change related activities in Viet Nam.
Clinton said he was impressed with the significant changes Viet Nam had made since his last visit to the country in 2005.
Dung highlighted Clinton's support in promoting Viet Nam-US relations and thanked him and his foundation for their charitable activities in the country.
Viet Nam had always attached importance to developing relations with the US and wanted to improve co-operation in all fields in the future, he said, asking the US to continue to help Viet Nam overcome the aftermath of the war, including the consequences of Agent Orange.
Since 2005, the Clinton Foundation has directly helped Viet Nam in perfecting its HIV/AIDS treatment system and improving skills among health workers in diagnosing, taking care of and treating people living with HIV/AIDS. The foundation has also implemented a climate change initiative to support the country's two major cities, Ha Noi and HCM City.
Yesterday Clinton made an inspiring speech before hundreds of students at the Hanoi Foreign Trade University.
Clinton, who with then Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet made a historic decision in 1995 to normalise relations between the two countries, and was also the first US President to visit Viet Nam since 1969, said he was very grateful for the way both governments have worked together for the last 15 years.
Work includes collaboration on education, health care, human rights, security, land mine clearance, helping Vietnamese citizens to cope with the aftereffects of Agent Orange, and finding the remains and records of soldiers from both sides lost during the long war.
"The normalisation of relations between the US and Viet Nam was one of the proudest moments of my presidency both because it marked the cause of all wounds and because it revealed the possibilities to the entire world of what the 21st century could be," he said.
Clinton also reminded the students that since the first trade agreement was signed by the two countries 10 years ago, bilateral trade had increased 17 times and reached US$15 billion. The US has become Viet Nam's biggest export market.
He expressed his hope that these young students, who were "the future of both nations" and "full of ideas, remarkable energy and a passionate desire to make a difference", would be able to turn the 21st century into a global network of shared responsibility and shared benefit. Young students would be the ones who can accelerate and spread the benefits of advances in science and technology and develop the global sense of common humanity and common descent, he said. — VNS