Arms embargo on Vietnam in the balance as Obama visits old foe

By REUTERS
May 23, 2016 02:25

 
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HANOI - US President Barack Obama began his first visit to Vietnam on Monday, a trip aimed at sealing a partnership with America's former enemy and part of his strategic "rebalance" towards Asia to counter China's growing strength in the region.

Four decades after a war that deeply divided opinion in America, Obama will press for stronger defense and economic ties with the country's communist rulers but prod them too on human rights, aides say.

The president's three-day stay is unusually long for one country, underscoring the importance he places on expanding relations with Hanoi. Ahead of the visit, pressure mounted on him to roll back an arms embargo, one of the last vestiges of wartime animosity.

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