Return to: Index of 1995 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

Note: This Electronic Research Collection is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the State Department homepage.
U.S. Department of State 
95/10/03 Remarks by Secretary Christopher and FM Cam 
Office of the Spokesman 
                                  REMARKS BY 
                              Department of State 
                              Washington, D.C. 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good afternoon.  It's a pleasure to welcome 
Foreign Minister Cam to the United States.  This is the first time he 
has visited this country, of course, since the normalization of 
relationships between the United States and Vietnam. 
I visited Hanoi in August to open our embassy and to exchange documents 
with the Foreign Minister as we opened this new chapter in our 
President Clinton's priority remains as it always has been and that is 
the restoration of ties with Vietnam; has been to achieve the fullest 
possible accounting of our POW's and MIA's.  I'm very pleased to note 
that our cooperation in that field has been very positive since our 
normalization of relationships since the opening of our embassy. 
My visit to Vietnam gave me a wonderful opportunity to observe Vietnam 
as a rapidly developing nation that's entering the vibrant Southeast 
Asian economic area, a member now of ASEAN.  We expect that Vietnam's 
integration will reduce the dangers of conflict in that area and also 
bolster its economic reforms. 
At the time that I was in Hanoi, I stressed the importance of political  
openess within the country and we're looking forward to a continuation 
of our dialogue on human rights issues.  Despite our differences on 
these issues we feel that this kind of dialogue can, overtime, lead to 
progress.  We will of course be discussing today our important economic 
relationships and the Economics Minister will be joining us part-way 
through the meeting.  The process of restoring our economic ties will 
take time and much hard work, but we expect we will move this forward by 
sending an inter-agency team to Vietnam sometime later this fall.  This 
team will lay the groundwork for development of a trade agreement 
between the United States and Vietnam which is the initial step in 
establishing our economic relationships. 
I want to emphasize that of course during this process we will consult 
with the Congress and we will be very mindful of the restrictions of 
U.S. laws.  Mr. Minister, it's very nice to see you again.  I appreciate 
the hospitality that you so warmly extended in Hanoi and I'm glad to 
welcome you here to the State Department. 
FOREIGN MINISTER CAM:  Thank you.  It's my real pleasure to be here to 
talk with the Secretary of State to continue our discussions on the 
promotion of better relations between our two countries. 
We both in Hanoi agreed that we should promote economic relations as a 
very first step for better relations between the two countries.  So I'm 
just glad to be here to continue our discussions so that we can move 
forward this process. 
I think in this world every country has economic development as its 
national priority.  So it's good that we continue and promote our 
economi relations between the two countries. 
I think it's not only good for the two countries but also contributes to  
stability and peace and economic relations and also cooperation in the  
region and also the world over. 
I think if both sides make efforts and try, we can make progress so that 
we contribute to our common objective.  I believe so because I think we 
have now a better understanding between our two countries.  Thank you. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, we understand that while there's still some  
difficulty in reaching the cease-fire in Bosnia there may be some news  
perhaps on the Slovonian front of some sort? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I've just heard that a significant step has been  
taken between the parties in Eastern Slovonia; that would be between the  
Serbian government and the Croatian government.  I think we will be 
talking about that in the region.  It's a first step, but I think it's a 
significant one, and, as I've said before, dealing with the problem of 
Eastern Slovania is one of the key elements of the picture. 
There was a good meeting there today.  I don't have all the details yet, 
but I've heard enough of them to know that it's a significant step and 
the parties in the region will be talking more extensively about it. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, is a cease-fire, backed up by a peace accord,  
absolutely requisite for the introduction of NATO troops? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, it certainly is.  The NATO troops would not 
go in to implement the settlement unless there is a full peace.  One 
that is a real peace and one that would permit the introduction of the 
NATO troops in a peacekeeping role.  We hope to move first to a cease-
fire and then beyond that to reach a peace agreement, after which it 
will become relevant to talk about the kind and nature and size and 
mission of NATO troops. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Foreign Minister, is Vietnam disappointed at the pace 
that the negotiation of the trade agreement is going?  Did Vietnam 
expect that, upon normalization of relations, the trade agreement would 
just fall right into place? 
FOREIGN MINISTER CAM: I think if both sides make great efforts, I think 
we can work out and sign real soon the trade agreement.  I think it's a 
window, that there's a lot of promising developments in Asia and the 
I think if you can develop our economic relations we can develop many 
other kind of relations.  I think we have lost and wasted much of our 
time, so we have to run against time to make up for what has been lost.  
But I believe that both sides should make great efforts.  With a very 
rapidly developing technology and revolution I think that both sides 
should make very quick efforts so that we can develop our own economies 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, on NATO in Yugoslavia, are you certain, at 
this point, certain enough to tell your allies that the United States 
will have the authorization of Congress to send U.S. troops in as part 
of the peacekeeping force? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I think our allies understand that we're going 
to be consulting with Congress.  As I've been saying for several days 
now, it's somewhat premature to address that issue at the present time.  
We've got lots of hard work to do to try to get a cease-fire and then 
the peace agreement will once again involve some very difficult and 
fundamental issues. 
I feel that the United States will live up to our President's commitment 
to have United States forces help to implement a peace agreement if it's  
reached as a part of NATO.  I say that because I think, first, that 
there will not be a peace agreement unless the parties understand that 
the United States intends to assist in the implementation.  I also think 
that it's fundamental to our relationships in NATO that we participate 
in such implementation.  But we've got a good deal of consulting, a good 
deal of explaining to do on Capitol Hill and acquainting the American 
people with the basis for such a decision.  Thank you. 
To the top of this page