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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992 - December

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Relations With Vietnam


The United States is today taking additional steps concerning our policy towards Vietnam. The decision to take these steps is in response to Vietnam's implementation of agreements reached with the President's Special Emissary for POW - MIA Affairs, General John Vessey. It is in keeping with the established ``roadmap'' policy of a step-by-step process for normalizing relations with Vietnam.

Effective today, the United States will permit U.S. firms to sign contracts to be executed should the embargo with Vietnam be lifted. To assist U.S. firms, we will also begin implementing a decision that permits a liberal licensing policy allowing commercial transactions relating to contracts, including opening offices in Vietnam, hiring staff, writing and designing plans, and carrying out preliminary feasibility studies and engineering and technical surveys. Other than these actions, the embargo with Vietnam remains in effect.

We look to Vietnam to intensify efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all our POW - MIA's, including the rapid repatriation of all recovered and readily recoverable American remains. In this context, we have noted Hanoi's recent call for Vietnamese citizens to turn in any American remains they may possess. As further results in accounting for missing Americans are obtained, we are prepared to consider additional ``roadmap'' steps of our own.

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