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Sen. McCain returns to Hanoi and urges U.S. to sell them lethal weapons

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during his visit to Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi on Friday, is urging his colleagues in the U.S. Congress to vote to lift a ban on weapons sales to Vietnam, according to overseas news agencies.

After being held prisoner and being tortured by Vietnamese soldiers, Sen.  McCain now wants to arm the Vietnam army with lethal weapons.
U.S. Senate Photo Gallery

While touring the nation that once held him captive as a prisoner of war in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," McCain and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, R-R.I., told Vietnamese officials that they will press American lawmakers to remove the decades-long prohibition on selling lethal weaponry to the U.S.'s former enemy.

McCain and Whitehouse also met with Vietnam's National Assembly chairman and Communist Party Politburo member Nguyen Sinh Hung. The senators discuss their wish for the U.S. and Vietnam to become closer especially in areas of security and defense. They also discussed working on projects together such as building hydropower plants in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Sinh Hung express his desire for the two countries to continue building a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Chairman Hung, he is considered the number-four official in Vietnam's hierarchly, also urged the United States to strengthen its trade ties with his government, according to the Vietnamese government's e-Portal.

The two U.S. lawmakers arrived in Vietnam onThursday and are expected to depart for home on Sunday, according to Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Hai Binh in a regular press briefing.

During the Vietnam War, Lt. Cdr. John McCain, III -- the son of the admiral who commanded the war in the Pacific -- while a Navy flier was shotdown and captured by the North Vietnam military. As a prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton, he was given "for special attention" during 5½ years of captivity in North Vietnam.