President Bill Clinton Makes Fifth Visit to Celebrate 20 Years of Normalized U.S.-Vietnam Relations

The U.S. Mission to Vietnam is pleased to announce that former President Bill Clinton joined the Twentieth Anniversary Gala reception in Hanoi on Thursday, July 2, where he delivered remarks to an audience of over 1,000 guests.

President Bill Clinton traveled to Hanoi to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the historic normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. The 1995 announcement was one of many actions taken by President Clinton to help the two nations embrace the spirit of reconciliation and move into the future together, including the lifting of the trade embargo and the negotiation of a bilateral trade agreement.

On July 11, 1995, President Clinton announced “the normalization of diplomatic relationships with Vietnam,” paving the way for historic engagement. This breakthrough led to the Comprehensive Partnership signed by President Obama and President Sang in 2013 and to the shared vision that characterizes the multi-faceted bilateral relationship that guides our two countries into the future. With eyes fixed on that bright future, the United States Government is proud to highlight the progress made by our two countries by hosting receptions in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City; and by hosting programs throughout 2015 in Vietnam’s 63 provinces.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius announced the President’s participation at the Consulate General’s Twentieth Anniversary Gala held in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday, July 1. Guest of Honor Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh represented the Government of Vietnam. Former Ambassadors Douglas “Pete” Peterson and Michael W. Michalak and First Charge D’Affaires Desaix Anderson were among the guests.

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,, the Hope Choir with its talented sight-impaired participants under the direction of Professor Ton That Triem sang the national anthem of Vietnam in Hanoi, while in Ho Chi Minh City the Đời rất đẹp (Life is Beautiful) group from the Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD) organization performed the anthem.

As Ambassador Osius stated at the Consulate General’s July 1 Gala,

“As I look back, I recall that first Independence Day event 18 years ago was not as elegant as this one, there were fewer guests, there were fewer American officials working here, fewer American companies …. But still, that event was important symbolically because it represented a new era between our two countries…. What we learned during those early years… was that despite being former enemies, the U.S. and Vietnam could build a new relationship…. So, as Ambassador, I am optimistic.

I have learned to embrace our past, I have reason to celebrate the successes of the last 20 years and I know that the future of this relationship is limitless. I believe that the American and Vietnamese people will continue to move forward together and to engage in ever greater cooperation across a wider range of activities.”