Vietnam says would welcome U.S. accelerating lifting of arms ban
U.S. President Obama speaks during his visit to Hanover - REUTERS
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HANOI: Vietnam would welcome the United States “accelerating” the lifting of a lethal arms embargo, which would reflect trust between the two countries and recognition of its needs to defend itself, its foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The comment by Vietnam comes just over a week ahead of a visit to Vietnam by U.S. President Barack Obama and amid debate in Washington over whether to remove the weapons embargo, which is one of the last major vestiges of the Vietnam War era.

The United States has not indicated publicly it would remove the embargo and has long said such a move would depend on Vietnam showing progress on human rights.

“We welcome the United States’ acceleration to fully lift the lethal arms sales ban on Vietnam,” the ministry said in response to Reuters questions.

“This is consistent with the development trend of the comprehensive partnership … demonstrating trust between the two countries.”

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