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US lawmakers support ASEAN’s central role in region

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and leaders of other ASEAN countries had a working lunch with US lawmakers in Washington D.C. on May 12 (local times).

The ASEAN leaders were welcomed by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi at Capitol Hill.

Participants discussed issues related to cooperation in trade, investment, people-to-people exchange, science-technology, renewable energy development, and the response to security challenges in the region and the world.

Commenting on the significant role of the ASEAN to peace, stability and development in the region, US parliamentarians affirmed their support to the central role of the association, pledging to work for the US’s active, constructive and responsible engagement in regional cooperation.

They suggested the priority of efforts to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and promote recovery, encouraging more cooperation proposals, initiatives and programmes in areas of common interest.

They expressed hope that the two sides will strengthen collaboration to promote dialogue and cooperation for the effective response and settlement of challenges and issues in the region, while lauding efforts to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), contributing to maintaining and ensuring an environment of peace, security and stability in the region.

Speaking at the event, PM Chinh highly valued the companionship and support of the US Congress, which has made an important contribution to the dynamic and strong development of the ASEAN-US relationship over the past 45 years. On this occasion, the Vietnamese Government leader thanked the US Congress and people for assisting the ASEAN, including Vietnam, in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years.

PM Chinh underlined that changes in the regional and the global situation are challenges and also motivation for the ASEAN and the US to join hands with each other for common development. The ASEAN welcomes the US’s commitments to supporting the role of the association, and is willing to coordinate with the US to overcome the pandemic, while keeping the door open wide for US businesses to seek business and investment in the ASEAN for successful recovery and maintenance of supply chains. The ASEAN expects work powers, including the US, to cooperate with the association in ensuring peace, stability, aviation and maritime security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, he stated.

The Vietnamese leader proposed the building of regular contacts through meetings between the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and the US Congress in order to reinforce trust and maintain sincere dialogue in all fields of cooperation.

It is necessary to establish a cooperative relationship on the foundation of equality and mutual benefits among legislative bodies, paving the way for long-term and comprehensive cooperation among parliaments for the effective policy coordination in coping with common challenges, he stated.

The PM also stressed the need to give more attention to cooperation programmes for inclusive, equal and sustainable development, creating conditions for future generations to develop together. He expressed his hope that the US will cooperates with the ASEAN in efforts to narrow the development gap in the ASEAN region, especially to bring remote areas like those in the Mekong region into the common development flow of countries and the whole region.

Following the working lunch with US lawmakers, the same day, PM Chinh and leaders of other ASEAN countries met with representatives of major US businesses./.