6 Department of State Dispatch 551 (1995)
U.S. Normalizes Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam

handle is hein.journals/dsptch14 and id is 619 raw text is: Vietnam

U.S. Normalizes Diplomatic
Relations With Vietnam
President Clinton, White House Fact Sheets

President Clinton

Statement released by the White
House, Office of the Press Secretary,
Washington, DC, July 11, 1995.
Thank you very much. I welcome you
all here: those of you who have been
introduced and distinguished mem-
bers of Congress and military leaders,
veterans, others who are in the audi-
ence.
Today, I am announcing the nor-
malization of diplomatic relations with
Vietnam.
From the beginning of this Admin-
istration, any improvement in the
relationship between America and
Vietnam has depended upon making
progress on the issue of Americans
who were missing in action or held as
prisoners of war. Last year, I lifted the
trade embargo on Vietnam in response
to their cooperation and to enhance our
efforts to secure the remains of lost
Americans and to determine the fate
of those whose remains have not been
found.
It has worked. In 17 months, Hanoi
has taken important steps to help us
resolve many cases. Twenty-nine
families have received the remains of
their loved ones and at last have been
able to give them a proper burial.
Hanoi has delivered to us hundreds of
pages of documents shedding light on
what happened to Americans in
Vietnam, and Hanoi has stepped up its
cooperation with Laos, where many
Americans were lost.
We have reduced the number of so-
called discrepancy cases-in which we
have had reason to believe that Ameri-
cans were still alive after they were
lost-to 55. And we will continue to
work to resolve more cases.
Hundreds of dedicated men and
women are working on all these cases,
often under extreme hardship and real
dangers in the mountains and jungles

of Indochina. On behalf of all Ameri-
cans, I want to thank them. And I want
to pay a special tribute to Gen. John
Vessey, who has worked so tirelessly
on this issue for Presidents Reagan and
Bush and for our Administration. He
has made a great difference to a great
many families and we as a nation are
grateful for his dedication and for his
service. Thank you, sir.
I also want to thank the presi-
dential delegation, led by Deputy
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel
Gober, Winston Lord, and James Wold,
who have helped us to make so much
progress on this issue. I am especially
grateful to the leaders of the families
and the veterans organizations who
have worked with the delegation and
maintained their extraordinary com-
mitment to finding the answers we
seek.
Never before in the history of
warfare has such an extensive effort
been made to resolve the fate of
soldiers who did not return. Let me
emphasize, normalization of our
relations with Vietnam is not the end
of our effort. From the early days of
this Administration, I have said to the
families and veterans groups what I
say again here: We will keep working
until we get all the answers we can.
Our strategy is working. Normalization
of relations is the next appropriate
step. With this new relationship, we
will be able to make more progress. To
that end, I will send another delegation
to Vietnam this year, and Vietnam has
pledged it will continue to help us find
answers. We will hold them to that
pledge.
By helping to bring Vietnam into
the community of nations, normaliza-
tion also serves our interest in working
for a free and peaceful Vietnam in a
stable and peaceful Asia We will begin
to normalize our trade relations with

Vietnam, whose economy is now
liberalizing and integrating into the
economy of the Asia-Pacific region.
Our policy will be to implement the
appropriate United States Govern-
ment programs to develop trade with
Vietnam consistent with U.S. law.
As you know, many of these
programs require certifications
regarding human rights and labor
rights before they can proceed. We
have already begun discussing human
rights issues with Vietnam, especially
issues regarding religious freedom.
Now we can expand and strengthen
that dialogue. The Secretary of State
will go to Vietnam in August where he
will discuss all of these issues, begin-
ning with our POW and MIA concerns.
I believe normalization and in-
creased contact between Americans
and Vietnamese will advance the cause
of freedom in Vietnam, just as it did in
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union. I strongly believe that engaging
the Vietnamese on the broad economic
front of economic reform and the broad
front of democratic reform will help to
honor the sacrifice of those who fought
for freedom's sake in Vietnam.
I am proud to be joined in this
view by distinguished veterans of the
Vietnam war. They served their
country bravely. They are of different
parties. A generation ago they had
different judgments about the war
which divided us so deeply. But today,
they are of a single mind. They agree
that the time has come for America to
move forward on Vietnam. All Ameri-
cans should be grateful especially that
Senators John McCain, John Kerry,
Bob Kerrey, and Chuck Robb; Repre-
sentative Pete Peterson, along with
other Vietnam veterans in the Con-
gress, including Senator Harkin,
Congressman Colby, and Congressman
Gilchrist, who just left; and others who
are out here in the audience have kept
up their passionate interest in Viet-
nam, but were able to move beyond the
haunting and painful past toward
finding common ground for the future.
Today, they and many other veterans
support the normalization of relations,
giving the opportunity to Vietnam to
fully join the community of nations and
being true to what they fought for so
many years ago.

U.S. Department of State Dispatch * July 10, 1995 * VoL 6, No. 28                                             551

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