FM Spokeswomen on significance of visit of President Clinton

Ha Noi, Oct. 24 (VNA) -- Answering a correspondent from Los Angeles Times newspaper on the significance of the upcoming visit to Viet Nam by US President Bill Clinton towards the Viet Nam-US relationship, the spokeswomen for the Foreign Ministry, Ms. Phan Thuy Thanh said:

" Viet Nam's foreign policy is one of independence, sovereignty, diversification and multilateralization of relations in the spirit of Viet Nam wants to become friends and trustworthy partner with all countries in the international community.

Viet Nam and the US have officially established diplomatic relations since 1995 on the basis of respecting each other's national independence, sovereignty, non-
interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefits.

Over the past five years, the relationship between the two countries have been improved in many fields. In this process, President Bill Clinton has made important contributions to boost the development of the two countries' relations.

Viet Nam welcomes the US President's visit and hopes that the historic first trip to the country by a US President would further promote bilateral ties and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, conforming with interest and desire of the two peoples," Ms. Thanh noted.

Asked by a correspondent from the South China Morning Post about the issue of war reparations for damages caused by the US during the war in Viet Nam, the spokeswoman said:

"The Vietnamese people continue to suffer from the grave sorrows and losses caused by the US aggression against Viet Nam.

She characterised the need for attention to consequences of war, including the effects of Agent Orange, as an urgent humanitarian issue.

"We believed that the United States should fulfil its responsibilities spiritually and ethically, thus making specific contributions to solving the consequences of war.

With humantarian and friendly traditions, Viet Nam aims to continue cooperating and promoting mutual understanding in its relations with the US as well as other former enemy countries, further developing the Viet Nam-US relationship, Ms. Thanh said, adding that this policy also aims to resolve consequences left by the past.