Vietnam-US Cooperation on Wartime Remains in Recovery
|Colonel Doan Quang Hoa, deputy chief of Office, National Steering Committee 515. Photo: chinhsachquandoi.gov.vn|
The cooperation between Vietnam and the US in the field of war recovery is a signal of progress in the partnership between the two countries, said George Moose, chair of the Board of Directors of the US Institute of Peace (USIP) in an international conference took place on Dec. 2.
Over the years, Vietnam and the United States have jointly implemented many cooperation programs to deal with the consequences of war.
In particular, the search for the remains of the missing is an important element of the reconciliation process, contributing to building the cooperative relationship between the two countries.
Kelly K. McKeague, director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) of the US Department of Defense, said that the search for the remains of soldiers from the two countries after the war has achieved remarkable results.
Under the cooperation of the two countries, more than 1,000 remains of US soldiers have been found over the past 30 years, he said.
According to Moose, the initiative to reconcile and overcome the consequences of the Vietnam War has received the support of the two governments.
Tim Rieser, foreign policy aide to US Senator Patrick Leahy, said: "We could not have achieved this result without the support from the Vietnamese government."
He said US agencies needed to make more efforts to reciprocate Vietnam's help to the US in finding soldiers who died in the war.
This is also a desire of Senator Patrick Leahy.
According to Rieser, US Senator Patrick Leahy has said he will do "all I can to deal with the consequences of the war in Vietnam."
|Tim Rieser, foreign policy aide to US Senator Patrick Leahy, spoke at the discussion. Photo: Zing|
Also during the discussion, Thao Griffiths, an expert with 20 years working in the field of war remediation, said that the two countries have formed strategic trust and have a cooperative relationship in many fields.
She said the relationship between the two countries was at a "transitional stage with a lot of potential for a strategic partnership."
Therefore, mutual support in war aftermath work will open the door to strengthening the Vietnam-US relationship, she said.
Connecting past, present and future
Many speakers commented that it takes a lot of time to reconcile after a conflict and overcome the painful consequences it leaves.
However, they believe that these cooperation programs will be a bridge to help generations of people of the two countries and have the opportunity to better understand the fluctuations in history.
At the discussion, Colonel Doan Quang Hoa said that the search and collection of martyrs' remains was increasingly difficult.
The biggest difficulty is that there is not much information about the martyrs, and the accuracy is not high, while Vietnam still has about 200,000 remains to search for.
However, he said he appreciated the efforts of both countries and proposed to continue to cooperate
Rieser said that future generations needed to understand that whatever was seen during the war was a disaster for both countries.
"After many years, we were able to find a way to turn our sufferings into the foundation for better things," he said.
|Thao Griffiths said that the cooperation between the two countries in overcoming war consequences was the basis for strengthening the relationship. Photo: Zing|
Thao Griffiths emphasizes the importance of Vietnam war data and the stories of fallen soldiers.
She said that in July during the visit of the US Defense Secretary to Vietnam, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate in the search for missing soldiers, to solve the biggest difficulty: lack of information.
Accordingly, Vietnamese search agencies are allowed to access secret US documents related to the war, especially 200,000 sets of documents collected by the Americans from the Vietnamese army during the period.
"If these documents can be used to form a database for the public to access, it will be a very valuable treasure for the young Vietnamese generation," she said.
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