Readout of Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis' Meeting with Vietnam Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Vietnam Minister of National Defense Ngo Xuan Lich for the fifth time today to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Vietnam.
The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, to include increasing cooperation in the areas of maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping.
They also confirmed close cooperation on addressing legacy of war issues and accounting for U.S. personnel missing from the Vietnam War. Secretary Mattis noted his visit to Bien Hoa Air Base earlier in the day, where he reaffirmed the United States' commitment to clean up dioxin contamination.
The two leaders agreed that a strong and comprehensive partnership promotes regional and global security, including in the South China Sea. This partnership is based on mutual respect and common interests and principles, particularly freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and recognition of national sovereignty.