ACCESSION NUMBER:303656 FILE ID:EPF305 DATE:09/15/93 TITLE:SEN. SMITH 'EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED' WITH U.S. VIETNAM POLICY (09/15/93) TEXT:*93091505.EPF *EPF305 09/15/93 * SEN. SMITH 'EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED' WITH U.S. VIETNAM POLICY (Text: 09/14/93 Statement by Sen. Bob Smith) (380) Washington -- Senator Bob Smith (Republican of New Hampshire), former co-chair of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, released the following statement in response to President Clinton's decision September 13 to give $3.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Vietnam through the U.S. Agency for International Development and to allow American corporations to bid on IMF/World Bank contracts for Vietnam: (begin text) While it was appropriate for the president to renew the American trade embargo against Vietnam for another year, I am extremely disappointed with his decision to reward Hanoi in other ways for alleged "concrete" progress in accounting for American POWs and MIAs. I have studied this issue closely for 9 years in Congress, and the president has looked into it for less than 9 months. I am confident that his decision sends a mixed signal to Vietnam which suggests that they will eventually get what they want without having to give the "fullest possible" accounting for our servicemen. Both the opening of the long-secret archives of the former Soviet Union and the declassification of U.S. wartime and post-war intelligence on POW/MIAs have given our new president an historic opportunity to honorably resolve this difficult issue. However, instead of demanding that Hanoi return to the negotiating table for serious discussions concerning the men who were not returned in 1973, the president is content to reward Hanoi for its deceiving propaganda efforts to date. 1 The Vietnamese have not exhibited any concrete progress in explaining the new Russian documents or explaining the whereabouts of the POWs they captured in Laos. It is naive to think that further easing of restrictions will prompt Vietnam to respond in good faith and account for our missing American servicemen. Until the Vietnamese give the fullest possible accounting of our POWs, the only business we should do with them is the business of accounting for our missing men. The president's actions are an insult to those servicemen whose lives remain in question, their families, our nation's veterans, and the majority of those who wear the uniform today. (end text) NNNN .