The U.S. government has relaxed its longtime restrictions on arms sales to Vietnam in a move aimed at helping that nation bolster its maritime security, Bloomberg reported Friday.
K. Oanh Ha writes Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh was told about the policy change during his recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.
Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said in an email obtained bv Bloomberg that U.S. will consider Vietnam’s acquisition requests for nonlethal naval systems on a case-by-case basis.
“This policy supports Vietnam’s efforts to improve its maritime domain awareness and maritime security capabilities,” Psaki added, according to the publication.
“It makes it possible for Vietnam to receive patrol boats equipped with defensive capabilities that can conduct maritime security activities in the waters along its vast coastline.”
Oanh Ha writes the U.S. imposed the arms embargo against Vietnam in 1984 and believes the decision to partially lift the ban could strengthen military ties between the two nations nearly 40 years after the end of Vietnam war.
“Vietnam will need to make additional progress on human rights for the United States to consider a full lift of the ban on lethal defense articles in the future,” Psaki added, according to Bloomberg.