Ambassador: Clinton Visit to Turn Page on Vietnam War
US President Bill Clinton's landmark visit to Vietnam later this month will finally lay to rest the ghosts of the Vietnam War and turn a new page in relations between the former foes, the US ambassador said Wednesday.
Clinton's choice of Vietnam for what could well be the last foreign visit of his presidency marked his recognition of the country's enormous potential and its success in achieving stability in an increasingly fragile neighborhood, ambassador Pete Peterson said.
"I think it's really one of the most significant events that will happen in the relations between the United States and Vietnam for a long time," he said.
"It certainly will seal the past in my view and will establish the base from which we can launch new programs in the future."
The ambassador stressed that Clinton could have gone anywhere in the world in the dying days of his presidency. His choice of Vietnam showed his recognition of the great strides the communist authorities here had taken over the past eight years and the huge potential for future growth.
"If you look around, this is a stable country. You look at Asia right now and everywhere you look there are problems. I don't hear anyone reporting problems here. Vietnam by any standard has to be rated a success," he said.
"There is probably no country that, right away, has such a wide gap between reality and its potential ... that's what the president sees, he sees a potential that may not be able to be reached elsewhere" -- HANOI (AFP)
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