Vietnam is promising to increase cooperation with the United States on obtaining an accounting of American servicemen still missing 17 years after U.S. forces were withdrawn from that country.
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach met Wednesday with the President Bush's special envoy for the MIA issue, retired Army Gen. John Vessey, and both were in an upbeat mood afterward."He has agreed to all the proposals I made, and we agreed to the proposals that he has made," Vessey said with Thach standing at his side.
Later, Thach said, "There are no divergencies. We will have much closer cooperation on this issue." He added that both sides agreed to accelerate their efforts to locate missing Americans.
The subject matter was limited to the nearly 1,700 missing Americans, but the meeting clearly had political overtones.
For Thach, his invitation to visit Washington was a breakthrough in that no Vietnamese foreign minister had come here since Hanoi won independence from France in 1954.
Vessey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said technical cooperation for joint investigations was agreed to, as well as ways to seek information and to return the remains of U.S. servicemen.