President of Vietnam Arrives In US On Historic State Visit

The president of Vietnam, Nguyen Minh Triet, landed tonight in New York.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet (R) waves with his wife Tran Thi Kim Chi (C) and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem before departing from Noi Bai airport in Hanoi June 18, 2007. Vietnam wants “equal and fair treatment” in the U.S. market, President Triet said in an interview on Monday before he left Hanoi on the first visit to the United States by a post-war Vietnamese head of state. (REUTERS/Kham)

The President of Vietnam landed in New York City tonight on a historic six-day visit. This is the first visit to the United States by the head of the Communist Government of Vietnam.
The Anatolian Times reported:

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet arrived Monday for a six-day visit to the United States, the first trip by a post-war head of state to the ex-battlefield enemy nation.

Accompanied by cabinet ministers and a business delegation, the president was greeted on arrival by senior American and Vietnamese officials at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, diplomats said.

He is scheduled to meet US President George W. Bush on Friday at the White House, where the two leaders will oversee the signing of an agreement that aims to pave the way for an eventual free trade pact.

The visit has been clouded by a series of arrests and trials of dissidents in the communist country, and the White House has indicated Bush will express his “deep concern” to Triet.

When the two leaders meet, Vietnamese-American pro-democracy groups are planning large protests outside the White House against Hanoi’s alleged human rights abuses.

The White House released a statement on May 11, 2007, castigating the communist regime of Vietnam for its treatment of political dissidents:

We similarly deplore the increasing incidence of arrest and detention of political activists in Vietnam, such as Nguyen Van Ly, Le Quoc Quan (pictured), Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, for activities well within their right to peaceful expression of political thought. We were particularly disturbed by the Vietnamese authorities physically preventing citizens from attending meetings at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence with a Member of the U.S. Congress. As Vietnam’s economy and society reform and move forward, such repression of individuals for their views is anachronistic and out of keeping with Vietnam’s desire to prosper, modernize, and take a more prominent role in world affairs.

Le Quoc Quan, a 36-year-old lawyer, was released to his family in the capital, Hanoi, on Saturday.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet is expected to get an earful of human rights complaints while on his historic trip.

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