When President Bill Clinton announced on July 11, 1995 the normalization of relations with Vietnam, Vietnam War veteran and U.S. Senator John McCain praised Clinton for an “act that required some courage.”It was seen as a political gamble then, and it had not come easy. The wounds of the Vietnam War and its aftermath were still fresh on both sides, but the healing process had to begin. Protracted negotiations bore sweet fruit 25 years ago today.But the seeds of rapprochement were sown in 1977 and 1978, two years after President Gerald R. Ford had imposed a trade and investment embargo against Vietnam in May 1975. The Jimmy Carter administration decided, on May 4, 1977, to allow Vietnam its legitimate right to be part of the United Nations.The negotiations to normalize ties got stuck on disagreements over war compensation, the search for prisoners of wars (POWs) and those classified as missing in action (MIA).In September 1990, former Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach met his counterpart James Baker in New York, marking the first official high-level meeting between the two governments since the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 to end the Vietnam War. The two former foreign ministers agreed to… Read full this story
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