Vietnam, US cooperate in searching for Vietnamese soldier remains

By Phuong Vu   August 5, 2021 | 03:01 pm GMT+7
Vietnam, US cooperate in searching for Vietnamese soldier remains
An altar is put up with remains of Vietnamese soldiers found in Quang Tri Province in March, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/My Hanh.
The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has launched a project to search for the remains of Vietnamese soldiers in response to Vietnamese assistance.

The launch took place during an online conference themed "Overcoming the consequences of the Vietnam War: The Way Ahead" that was organized Tuesday by the USIP and joined by Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Ha Kim Ngoc, Vietnam’s Deputy Defense Minister Hoang Xuan Chien, and Senior Senator Patrick Leahy.

The event celebrates the 26th anniversary of the normalization of Vietnam-U.S. relations that took place after the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense Phan Van Giang signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in searching, gathering and identifying the remains of Vietnamese soldiers from the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

The MOU was signed when Austin visited Vietnam from July 28 to 29.

Senator Leahy affirmed the project shows the U.S.'s desire to respond to Vietnam's goodwill in helping find American soldiers missing for over 40 years.

The senator praised the cooperation between the two countries in overcoming the consequences of war.

Besides, he shared Vietnam's difficulties and losses in the ongoing Covid-19 wave and said although the U.S. has supported vaccines for Vietnam, it is still not enough.

Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien emphasized the importance of Vietnam-U.S. cooperation in overcoming the consequences of war, especially in searching for missing Vietnamese soldiers.

He suggested the U.S. reaffirms its commitment and continue to cooperate closely and effectively with Vietnam in removing all unexploded ordnance and clearing dioxin from Vietnamese soil, especially promoting the progress of the dioxin decontamination project at Bien Hoa Airbase, a former U.S. facility in Dong Nai Province that borders Ho Chi Minh City

Dealing with the consequences of toxic chemical dioxin, in the immediate future, will include mobilizing resources to accelerate decontamination treatment of the entire Bien Hoa base.

Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc hoped the U.S., veterans' organizations, press and American people would continue to pay attention to, support and cooperate in dealing with the consequences of the war in Vietnam in general and searching for Vietnamese soldiers in particular.

The ambassador also suggested that relevant U.S. agencies, especially the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), spend more resources building a high-tech center to support the identification of missing Vietnamese soldiers.

He also thanked the U.S. for its vaccine aid to Vietnam and affirmed the U.S.'s continued support of vaccines, medical equipment and medicines to fight Covid-19 clearly shows the spirit of friendship and comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

 
 
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