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US eases arms embargo against Vietnam for maritime security

[WASHINGTON] The United States on Thursday partially lifted a long-time ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam to help the country improve its maritime security, a historic move that comes nearly 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War. "The State Department has taken steps to allow for the future transfer of maritime security-related defense articles to Vietnam," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing.

State Department officials told a separate briefing that sales of any specific weapons would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

They said the decision follows some progress by Vietnam on human rights issues, including the release of 11 political prisoners, although they cautioned that a further easing of the ban would require additional steps. - Reuters