Obama to lift Vietnamese arms embargo
IT'S a move that very few people would have expected in the days after the Vietnam War but after more than four decades of peace between the US and Vietnam President Barack Obama has announced he will lift an arms embargo - clearing the way for American weaponry to be sold into the southeast Asian nation.
"Vietnam very much appreciates the U.S. decision to completely lift the ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam, which is the clear proof that both countries have completely normalized relation," Reuters reports Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said through a translator at a news conference today.
"At this stage both sides have developed a level of trust and cooperation," Obama said, adding that he expected deepening cooperation between the two nation's militaries.
The move comes amidst deepening tensions with Vietnam's northern neighbour China over disputed territory in the South China Sea - one f the world's most important waterways in terms of trade.
Vietnam had requested a full lifting og the arms arms embargo two years ago but wanted increased access as it tries to bolster its position.