US lifts Vietnam arms embargo

epaper Updated: May 24, 2016 09:55 IST

HANOI: US President Barack Obama on Monday lifted a decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, looking to bolster a government seen as a crucial, though flawed partner in a region that he has tried to place at the center of his foreign policy legacy.

Obama announced the full removal of the embargo at a news conference where he vowed to leave behind the troubled history between the former war enemies and embrace a new era with a young, increasingly prosperous nation.

He steered clear of harsh condemnation of what critics see as Vietnam’s abysmal treatment of dissidents, describing instead modest progress on rights in the one-party state. Activists said his decision to lift the embargo destroyed the best US leverage for pushing Vietnam on abuse.

First Published: May 24, 2016 06:40 IST