Obama says Vietnam must im­prove rights

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has pressed Vietnam to al­low greater free­dom for its cit­i­zens, ar­gu­ing that bet­ter hu­man rights would im­prove the com­mu­nist coun­try’s econ­omy, sta­bil­ity and re­gional power. On his sec­ond full day in the south­east Asian na­tion, Obama also met with ac­tivists and en­trepreneurs as part of a push for closer ties with the fast-grow­ing, strate­gi­cally cru­cial coun­try. The visit in­cluded the lift­ing of one of the last ves­tiges of Vietnam War-era an­tag­o­nism, a five-decades-old arms sale em­bargo. In a speech at the Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, Obama sought to bal­ance a de­sire for a stronger re­la­tion­ship with Vietnam with ef­forts to hold its lead­er­ship to ac­count over what ac­tivists call an abysmal treat­ment of gov­ern­ment crit­ics. Na­tions are more suc­cess­ful when peo­ple can freely ex­press them­selves, as­sem­ble with­out ha­rass­ment and ac­cess the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia, Obama told the gath­er­ing.

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