FM Spokesperson on Addressing War Consequences

Those countries that conducted and took part in the aggressive wars against Vietnam should take concrete measures, especially in the form of practical and effective co-operation with the country, to settle the aftermath of the war in Viet Nam.

So said a foreign ministry spokesperson in reply to the Vietnam News Agency's query on the Government's viewpoint regarding the requests of many foreign mass organisations that their governments officially apologise to and compensate war victims in Vietnam.

The spokeswoman, Ms Phan Thuy Thanh, described it as "suiting to morality and the people's hearts and being practical by healing the wounds of the war, obliterating out obssesions of the past and promoting reconciliation between Vietnam and concerned countries in the interest of peace, stability and development in the region and the world."

The Vietnamese people are victims of many foreign aggressive wars, including the most brutal and fierce one which was waged by the US, killing nearly three million people and disabling more than four million others, particularly victims of Agent Orange.

With the remains of 300,000 fallen combatants still unaccounted for, heavy consequences of the war still persist after 25 years, Thanh said.

Like other nations which have been victims of aggressive wars, Vietnam will never forget those war crimes, she stressed.

The spokeswoman added: "As a nation with a tradition of humanity, leniency and peace, we are willing to put aside the past to look forwards the future."

Asked about activities of foreign media in Vietnam on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the complete victory of the anti-US resistance war for national salvation, the spokeswoman said that in addition to permanent correspondents of foreign press and news agencies in Hanoi, a large number of non-resident correspondents from major news agencies and television firms in the world have come to Vietnam since late March. Such correspondents number around 400, coming from Asia, Europe, America, and Australia with two thirds of them from the United States.

Thanh said that foreign mass media have shown keen interest in many topics such as the achievements of Vietnam's renovation process, changes in Vietnam in the past 25 years since national reunification; post-war lives and works of soldiers who took part in the anti-US war, and Vietnam's policies that encourage overseas Vietnamese to invest and run businesses in Vietnam.

She elaborated that many foreign correspondents have been in Vietnam for a long time and travelled extensively throughout the country in order to comprehensively cover Vietnam.

However, the spokeswoman noted that the issue attracting the most public opinion is the aftermath of the war and the Vietnamese people's efforts in overcoming the consequences and healing the wounds that the was has left behind.