Saturday, November 27, 2004

U.S. ambassador on economic relations

The U.S. supports Vietnam's to push up its progress to enter into the World Trade Organization, said U.S. ambassador Michael Marine in a Nov. 24th press conference. He declined, however, to forecast the exact time that Vietnam can be admitted. Talks between the two countries on this issue took place Oct. 25-28. Marine said he had three priorities as ambassador: to inspect the effectiveness of the $60 million in ODA aid the U.S. has granted to Vietnam; as well as the effectiveness of the HIV/AIDS prevention program in Vietnam, the U.S. expected to increase its aid in this area from $18 million in 2004 to $25 million in 2005; and to work with Vietnam in other fields such as legal and army cooperation, narcotics prevention.

Marine has served for 29 years in various diplomatic posts, most recently as deputy ambassaador to China. This is his first role as U.S. ambassador, appointed to that position for Vietnam last September. (Youth Nov 25 p15, Pioneer Nov 25 p13; Vietnam News Briefs, Nov. 25).


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