Obama says Vietnam must improve rights
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.