• The US president will stop over in Hanoi on his way back from the G-20 leaders meeting in New Delhi.

WASHINGTON (Agencies): U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Vietnam on his way home from the G-20 summit in New Delhi next month, the White House said Monday.

After the G-20 summit on Sept. 9, Biden will fly into Hanoi on Sept. 10 and depart the same day to attend a ceremony in Alaska marking 22 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a statement said.

“While in Hanoi, President Biden will meet with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other key leaders to discuss ways to further deepen cooperation between the United States and Vietnam,” it said.

“The leaders will explore opportunities to promote the growth of a technology-focused and innovation-driven Vietnamese economy, expand our people-to-people ties through education exchanges and workforce development programs, combat climate change, and increase peace, prosperity, and stability in the region.”

The visit to Hanoi comes amid criticism that Biden is shirking the U.S.-ASEAN leaders summit in Jakarta just days before the G-20 event – Vice President Kamala Harris is attending in his stead – but also amid rumors the United States and Vietnam plan to upgrade ties.

The visit will be the first dedicated trip to Vietnam by a U.S. president since Barack Obama’s trip in May 2016. That was criticized at the time for setting aside human rights concerns for strategic reasons as the Obama administration, of which Biden was the vice president, courted stronger relations with Hanoi in the face of a rising China.

Former President Donald Trump twice visited the country while in office, but both times were primarily for other reasons: an APEC summit in November 2017 and his second summit on neutral soil with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February 2019.

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