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VIETNAM PRESIDENT IN MEETING WITH US AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR STRONGER DEFENCE AND ECONOMIC TIES




Vietnam's newly elected president To Lam on Thursday called for a strengthening of ties with the United States, the government said. Vietnam has been seeking to boost relations with Washington as part of its "bamboo diplomacy" as it tries to navigate rising global disputes and maintain economic growth.

In a meeting on Thursday with the U.S. ambassador to Hanoi, Marc Knapper, Lam said the two countries should gradually expand cooperation in defence and security, the government said in a statement. Lam, who was elected state president three weeks ago, said Vietnam and the U.S. should also boost economic ties and promote high-level visits. Vietnam's exports to the U.S. in the first five months of this year rose 22% from a year earlier to $44.4 billion, representing 28% of its overall exports in the period, according to the government's customs data.

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