At the meeting, Senator Patrick Leahy expressed delight at the two sides' outcomes in overcoming war legacy, especially the effective implementation of Phase 1 of dioxin contamination remediation project at Bien Hoa Airport. Particularly, the two sides have completed the detoxification of dioxin-contaminated land in a lake at Gate 2 of the airport and actively conducted a project to support those with disabilities in eight provinces severely affected by Agent Orange/dioxin. They have also obtained achievements in searching remains of U.S. servicemen missing in action in Vietnam and of Vietnamese soldiers missing during the war and carrying out information dissemination projects.
General Chien informed the U.S. Senator that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense has supported the COVID-19 vaccination of contractors and workers, who are participating in the dioxin contamination remediation project at Bien Hoa Airport, in an effort to preventing SARS-CoV-2 from affecting the progress of the project. He also asked Senator Patrick Leahy to facilitate more funding to accelerate the progress of the project and suggested the U.S. side expand the beneficiaries within the life quality improvement project as most provinces in Vietnam have AO/dioxin victims and continue cooperating in searching for remains of Vietnamese soldiers missing during the war.
For his part, the U.S. Senator highlighted the significance of bilateral cooperation in overcoming war legacy to the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership. He vowed to do his best to facilitate cooperation fields between the two countries.
Earlier the same day, the Vietnamese deputy defense minister met with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Administrator Samantha Power. At the meeting, the USAID administrator thanked Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities, especially the Ministry of National Defense, for their cooperation with USAID in implementing cooperation projects with the U.S.
Regarding missions in the coming time, General Chien proposed the agency study to support the verification of Vietnamese soldiers who died in the war, as well as improve the capacity for Vietnam in this field.
USAID Administrator said that she will back Vietnam's proposals and stressed the need to accelerate the progress of the Bien Hoa Airport treatment project.
After the two meetings, the Vietnamese deputy defense minister worked with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ratner Ely.
During the event, the two sides agreed to carry out cooperation contents signed by the two defense ministers during the visit to Vietnam of the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late July with a focus on delegation exchanges, defense policy dialogue, training and cooperation among services and arms.
On the occasion, General Chien suggested the two sides promote military medical cooperation and collaboration in COVID-19 pandemic fight and propose the U.S. side support Vietnam in access to COVID-19 vaccine sources and provide testing labs and vaccine storage facilities for the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense. He also hoped to receive support from the U.S. for Vietnam's deployment of the Engineering Company to a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
The U.S. assistant secretary acknowledged and vowed to support Vietnam's proposals.
On September 21, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare received the Vietnamese official, during which he affirmed to support Vietnam's deployment of its Engineering Company to a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
At the event, General Chien said that Vietnam is ready to deploy engineering troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions and pledged that the Vietnamese engineering force is capable of fulfilling missions.
Earlier, the Vietnamese deputy defense minister met with General Birame Diop, Military Adviser in the Department of Peace Operations, during which he thanked General Birame Diop for his timely instruction to upgrade the Vietnamese Engineering Company to a level-2 unit to meet the requirements in reality and unofficially grant its access to deployment plans of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
He believed that with experience from the successful deployment of level-2 field hospitals in South Sudan, the Vietnamese Engineering Company will successfully fulfill their missions.
Translated by Tran Hoai
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