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Bush Meets Vietnamese President In Landmark Talks

Triet (left) met Bush in the Oval Office (AFP) June 22, 2007 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has met Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet in Washington during the first visit by a president of the communist-led country to the White House since the Vietnam War.

Bush said the two had had a "frank and candid discussion."

Bush told Triet that Washington wanted to have good relations with Vietnam, and pressed upon the Vietnamese president the importance of democracy and human rights.

"I also made it very clear that in order for relations to grow deeper it's important for our friends to have a strong commitment to human rights and freedom and democracy," Bush said.

Triet said they "had a direct and open exchange of views" on matters where they differ, "especially on matters relating to religion and human rights."

There were protests outside the White House during the talks, with several hundred people calling for the release of all political prisoners and Catholic priests jailed in Vietnam.