00:53 GMT +322 September 2019
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    Sen. John McCain

    McCain: US Should Ease Restrictions on Sale of Lethal Weapons to Vietnam

    © AFP 2019 / Ross D. Franklin
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    The United States should loosen its ban on the sale of lethal military equipment to Vietnam to help the country improve maritime security, US Senator John McCain state din a press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — This week, Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is making a historic trip to the United States, marking the 20th anniversary of normalized relations between the United States and Vietnam.

    Trong’s trip is the first ever US visit by the chief of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

    “I believe the United States must further ease the prohibition on the sale of lethal military equipment to Vietnam at this time, including all platforms that facilitate the Vietnamese armed forces' ability to operate more effectively on, above, and within its territorial waters.”

    The United States would gradually lift its ban on lethal weapons sales to Vietnam, contingent on continued improvements in Vietnamese human rights protections and legal reform, McCain said.

    The United States has upheld a ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

    Trong visited with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, where the leaders discussed trade, human rights and defense cooperation, according to the White House.

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