Meeting Between White House Officials and the Viet Nam Delegation

March 7, 2012

Editorial note:
On March 5, 2012, White House officials met with approximately 200 Vietnamese-American delegates representing the 130,000 petitioners who asked the White House not to increase trade with Vietnam as the latter continues to abuse its own citizens.

Mr. Jon Carson, director of the Office of Public Engagement, welcomed the delegates at the Eisenhower Executive Building adjacent to the White House. He said, "You came not only to provide information to us through the petition, but also to let everyone know about your commitment to your cause. With 130,000 signatures, you have set up a record." Indeed, no previous organization has ever gathered more than 50,000 signatures. 

Mr. Carson also mentioned that President Obama is deeply committed to human rights. Officials will review the petition and will give them an answer in about a month time. This is just the beginning because the issue is a complex subject.

The dialog process would go through three steps:
   1. Getting to know, to build trust
   2. Action, engagement
   3. Partnership   

Representing the delegation, singer Quoc Khanh, Billy Le (student representative), and Cindy Dinh (representative of the Human Rights for Vietnam League) asked the White House to pay more attention to human rights in Vietnam. Quoc Khanh also asked President Obama to intervene in the Viet Khanh case.