Pacific Partnership 2023 - microcosm of US-Vietnam cooperation: Ambassador

The US-led Pacific Partnership 2023 (PP23) has been implemented in the south-central coastal province of Phu Yen, featuring activities like school construction, medical training workshops, free surgeries for local residents, and musical exchanges.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper in the interview with the Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper in the interview with the Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)

The program is in some ways a microcosm of the broader cooperation that the US enjoys with Vietnam in many different areas, said US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency following the successful program.

The Ambassador said he is very grateful to the Government of Vietnam and the people and authorities in Phu Yen province for the really warm hospitality and the great collaboration to make this success.

“I think Pacific Partnership 2023 is in some ways a microcosm of the broader cooperation that we enjoy with Vietnam in so many different areas such as humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and medical cooperation. They are all parts of our effort to make Vietnam stronger, more resilient, prosperous, and independent, which of course, is our basic and fundamental policy and approach to Vietnam,” he said.

Knapper said he believes Vietnam and the United States share important goals and interests in the Indo-Pacific, whether it's ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific or a free and open East Sea – an East Sea in which countries are able to engage in commerce and in freedom of navigation.

He went on to say that the US is also very much welcomes Vietnam's strong role in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), noting the two countries share goals for promoting prosperity and trade to ensure both the two peoples are able to succeed and prosper.

“We also share strong goals and really welcome Vietnam's role in terms of climate change and transitioning to a clean energy economy. These are all things that we believe Vietnam is very much centrally positioned to promote not just regionally but also globally,” he said.

According to the Ambassador, Pacific Partnership 2023 comprises four lines of effort - medical cooperation; engineering, in other words, construction; disaster relief; and community relations and there are excellent examples of all four of these lines of effort in this specific partnership.

He cited as an example a brand new school that the Navy Seabees built in 47 days, with three classrooms - a really remarkable effort under grueling weather conditions. He said the construction of the school was one really important area because it shows the shared interest in investing in education, and promoting the youth of Vietnam and their brighter futures.

In terms of medical cooperation, a number of pediatric surgeries and some dental consultations were provided under the program, and in community relations, a joint concert between the Navy performers and the Sao Viet group was held, which was very well received by the community. In humanitarian assistance disaster relief, there was a shared activity in which both sides prepared for practice responding to an event in which a number of injured people were brought to the hospital.

“In all four of these areas, we've worked to deepen our friendship and understanding as well as we hope to contribute to the community here in significant and concrete ways,” the ambassador affirmed.

Knapper said he has been in Vietnam about a year and a half, and the more time he works on different areas of cooperation between the two countries, whether it's in terms of economic cooperation, health cooperation, climate cooperation, security cooperation, people-to-people ties, education, high-tech exchanges; the more he is convinced that the futures of the two countries are inextricably linked.

“I really believe that we share the same interests and the same goals. We're working together on issues related to education and ensuring that Vietnam’s young people are highly skilled technical workers needed for the economy in the 21st century,” he said.

The diplomat further noted that the two countries are also working together on shared issues involving the East Sea or the Mekong, and also working on their shared interests in promoting prosperity and a strong, independent, and prosperous Vietnam.

According to him, in all these areas, the United States and Vietnam share the same future.

“I'm very excited about where we are now, but I'm even more excited about where our two countries are going in the future,” he said.

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