Wed, 17 Jul 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed condolences to the Vietnamese people at the death of their president, Tran Dai Quang, who died Friday at age 61 after a serious illness.

In a statement, Trump called Quang "a great friend of the United States" and noted that Quang had "graciously" hosted the U.S. president during his state visit to Vietnam in November last year.

"I am grateful for his personal commitment to deepening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership," Trump said Friday. He added, "We will not soon forget his contributions to peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region or his voice for Vietnam as a proud and independent nation on the world stage."

Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump with a state banquet at the International Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017.

Vietnam's official news agency announced Quang's death on Friday at the Military Hospital in Hanoi. It said Quang died of "serious illness" but did not elaborate.

Quang was last seen in public Wednesday at a Politburo meeting of the Communist Party and a reception for a Chinese delegation.

Quang was a career security officer and served as minister of public security before he was elected president in April 2016.

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