BackStories » Vietnam » [Video] Obama: US to Completely Lift Vietnam Arms Embargo

[Video] Obama: US to Completely Lift Vietnam Arms Embargo

United States President Barack Obama started his historic Vietnam trip with a bang, announcing the end of an embargo on lethal weapons imposed on the country for decades.

According to CNN, Obama declared an end to the arms ban at a joint press conference with Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang this afternoon in Hanoi.

“The United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam that has been in place for some 50 years,” President Obama told media representatives.

Obama told the media that at the crux of lifting the arms embargo was a desire to instill deeper defense cooperation between the two countries.

"We've come here as a symbol of the renewed ties we have made over the last several decades and the comprehensive partnership we have created over the course of my presidency," said the US president minutes before making his statement on the embargo.

The announcement likely came as little surprise to American weapons companies who, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, quietly hosted a defense symposium in the capital earlier this month, according to Reuters. Among its attendees were top American arms manufacturers, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Though US officials eased the rules of its embargo in late 2014, the ban was never fully lifted until today. Still, Vietnam has managed to become the world's eighth largest weapons importer: the country's total arms imports between 2011 and 2015 skyrocketed 699% compared to its purchases in the 2006-2010 period.

For now, Russia the country's primary military supplier, enjoys large contracts with Hanoi, including a US$2.6 billion order for six Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines.

[Photo via Thanh Nien]

Related Articles:

US Mulls Lifting Ban of Weapon Sales to Vietnam

White House Confirms Obama’s Vietnam Dates

Barack Obama Finalizing May Visit to Vietnam: Report

Related Articles

in Vietnam

$14 Million Approved For Restoration Of Hanoi’s 112-Year-Old Long Biên Bridge

The fate of one of Vietnam’s most beloved and storied structures took another positive turn last week when the government approved a $14 million restoration package for Long Biên Bridge.

in Vietnam

'Amazing Race Vietnam' Apologizes for Challenge Harming Coral Reef

An underwater challenge during this year’s installment of The Amazing Race Vietnam is not sitting well with environmentalists.

in Vietnam

'Engaging With Vietnam' Conference Ruminates on Heritage in Huế

“Living with Heritage, (Re)Creating Heritage: Vietnam and the World” is the title of the 14th Engaging with Vietnam conference, a series of activities including academic panel discussions, keynote tal...

in Vietnam

1.2m Vietnamese Move to Cities a Year: Report

Up to 1.2 million Vietnamese migrate to cities each year, according to a recent report.

in Vietnam

10 Killed, Over 30 Missing in Central and Northern Vietnam as Storm Son-Tinh Brings Flash Floods

Heavy rains from storm Son-Tinh, which eventually weakened to a tropical depression, have caused flash floods and fatalities in central Vietnam.

in Vietnam

104-Year-Old Great-Great Grandmother Fights Off Robber

Taking advantage of the elderly will inevitably result in some bad karma, a lesson a Dong Nai man quickly learned after attempting to rob Vo Thi Bai, a 104-year-old woman.

Partner Content