The untold story of former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's visit to the US 6The untold story of former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's visit to the US 6

(Dan Tri) – According to Mr. Duong Trung Quoc, former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s visit to the US 13 years ago was an important milestone that helped open a new door in the relationship between Vietnam and the US.

During former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s visit to the US in 2005, Mr. Duong Trung Quoc was the first National Assembly delegate to have the opportunity to accompany the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s trip is an important milestone

13 years ago, in 2005, former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai visited the US.

This is the first visit to the United States by the head of the Vietnamese government on the occasion when the two countries are celebrating the 10th anniversary of normalizing relations, marking an important milestone in Vietnam – US relations.

Obviously, having a meeting 13 years ago was very difficult, when the two countries had to go through a long period of war, embargo, hostility, distrust… before they could become friends and sit together again.

I think that Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s trip conveyed many messages and was groundbreaking, opening a new door to help Vietnam – US relations move to a new stage, a new level.

Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (left) shakes hands with US President George W. Bush (right)

As you just said, 13 years ago, the legacy of the past was still very heavy and both sides had to find a way to reconcile.

During Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s visit to the US in 2005, in addition to diplomatic advisers, there was also a National Assembly delegation and I was fortunate to be a member of the party.

At that time, even though we had normalized Vietnam-US relations for 10 years, the legacies of the past were still huge barriers.

However, when we arrived in America, we were very moved to witness the respectful hospitality and affection the Americans gave to Vietnam.

Senator McCain, who fought in Vietnam, also made a very impressive statement: `After 30 years after the war, it’s time for us to look forward to future potential, not just look back.`

A Prime Minister who is brave in politics but simple in real life

Former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai is known as the first Vietnamese leader to officially visit the United States since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. During this trip, he was able to share his memories.

I don’t have many opportunities to meet and talk with Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, but in my impression he is a simple, quiet, profound person who also cares about people.

On June 21, in the morning, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai had a meeting with US President George W. Bush at the White House, and that evening, a meeting between politicians, parliamentarians, businesses and political parties took place.

Right after that, it was Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s turn to speak and respond. He was very calm and eased the tense atmosphere at that time by saying: `Life is like that and this is a very normal thing.`

During his 9 years as Prime Minister, Mr. Phan Van Khai left many important marks on Vietnam’s economic innovation and integration.

To me, this is a Prime Minister who fulfilled his role at important moments in history.

With one year remaining before his term ends, but seeing that the situation needs to be transferred to the next generation and his health is not guaranteed, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai presented to the National Assembly asking for leave and resignation.

I still remember a funny story, outside the corridors of the National Assembly, when Mr. Phan Van Khai was still serving as Prime Minister.

Ha Trang

(Perform)

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