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H. Con. Res. 278  (eh) - Whereas the President has lifted the 30-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam in the belief that doing so is the ``best way'' to ensure progress in resolving the fate of Americans missing since the conflict in Vietnam; Whereas the period of the Vietnam conflict and its aftermath was one of the most distressing and painful periods in our Nation's history; Whereas questions remain about the fate of several hundred Americans missing in action; Whereas, on July 2, 1993, President Clinton stated that further steps in United States-Vietnam relations would be based on ``tangible progress'' towards the fullest possible accounting of those missing in action; Whereas such ``tangible progress'' depends on further efforts by the Government of Vietnam in the 4 key areas outlined by the President, including the recovery and repatriation of American remains, continued resolution of discrepancy cases, further assistance in implementing trilateral investigations with Laos, and accelerated efforts to provide all POW/ MIA-related documents; Whereas the Congress deeply empathizes with the families and friends of the missing American servicemen; Whereas we owe nothing less than the ``fullest possible accounting'' to these men and their families; Whereas Vietnam's criminal law is used to punish nonviolent advocates of political pluralism, through charges such as ``attempting to overthrow the people's government'' or ``antisocialist propaganda''; Whereas the end of the Cold War provides an unprecedented opportunity for democratic reform and improvements in human rights throughout the world; Whereas recent economic reforms and initiatives undertaken by the Government of Vietnam can best be encouraged and built upon through political liberalization; Whereas the interests of the United States and the people of Vietnam, and the international community would best be served by having a friendly and democratic government in Vietnam; and Whereas greater respect for internationally recognized human rights and a peaceful transition to democracy in Vietnam would greatly reduce the threat of instability in Southeast Asia and enable the creation of a free-market economy in Vietnam: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that-- (1) progress towards the ``fullest possible accounting'' for the Americans missing and unaccounted for remains central to our Nation's foreign policy toward Vietnam; (2) the ``fullest possible accounting'' of our missing must remain the index by which further progress in relations must be judged; (3) the primary functions of the United States Government liaison office in Vietnam should be-- (A) to facilitate efforts to achieve the ``fullest possible accounting'', and (B) to establish a section within that office to assist families and friends of those missing American servicemen in their efforts to ascertain the status of their loved ones; (4) the United States should support the process of nonviolent democratic reform in Vietnam including the goal of free and fair elections; and (5) the United States should increase its support for Voice of America programming in Vietnam.


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