U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (R) in Hanoi December 16, 2013. REUTERS/Luong Thai Linh/Pool
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The powerful head of Vietnam's Communist Party will travel to the United States for the first time next week, and said he expects President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam later this year.It did not confirm a visit by Obama to Vietnam, which would be his first.Trong is one of the four most powerful men in Vietnam, along with President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.Both Vietnam and the United States are seeking to strengthen their relationship as a way of dealing with strategic and economic challenges.The U.S. also wants closer ties with Vietnam to help offset China's growing strength in the region.
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