Speaking at the reception, Chien emphasized that Mc Keague's visit takes place in the context of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) and 35 years of joint operations to search for American personnel missing in action (MIA), which is an important milestone in the two countries' cooperation in overcoming war consequences.
Appreciating the contributions of the US agency in promoting the relationship between the two countries over the past time, especially in overcoming war consequences in Vietnam, Chien affirmed that cooperation in searching for US soldiers missing in the war is the bridge and first channel of contact between the leaders of the two countries, helping the two peoples better understand their goodwill and humanitarian policies.
According to him, the two sides are implementing cooperation activities according to the agreed annual plan. Up to now, 150 combined and unilateral MIA search campaigns have been carried out and the 151st is being deployed.
Regarding cooperation in searching and collecting the remains of Vietnamese martyrs, based on the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation signed in July 2021, the two sides actively carried out activities and achieved remarkable results.
The US side has so far provided Vietnam with more than 30 sets of documents on Vietnamese soldiers who died or went missing in the war, plus many war memorabilia, he said, adding the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense hopes for further support from the US in this regard, especially when Vietnam has about 180,000 missing martyrs.
Chien said that in the coming time, the two sides should continue to promote cooperation in the search for US servicemen missing in the war, and wished the US Government will support Vietnam in overcoming war consequences including those relating to bombs/mines and toxic chemicals, as well as searching and collecting the remains of Vietnamese martyrs.
Given the huge potential for cooperation in various fields between the US and Vietnam, Kelly K. Mc Keague affirmed that the US Government will continue to fulfill its commitments to tackling war consequences in Vietnam.