THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Kiev, Ukraine)
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President Clinton has asked a top-level delegation to travel to Vietnam and Laos in order to facilitate further progress in achieving the fullest possible accounting for our POW-MIAs. This presidential delegation will travel to Vietnam May 13-16 and Laos May 17-18.
The delegation will be jointly led by Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Hershel Gober, Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs James Wold. Similar high-level delegations went to Vietnam in July 1993 and July 1994.
While in Vietnam, the delegation will reaffirm the priority President Clinton attaches to achieving additional tangible progress on the outstanding POW-MIA cases. The delegation will emphasize to Vietnam's leaders that the President is looking for concrete progress in four key areas:
Remains: Concrete results from unilateral and joint activities on cases, live sightings and field activities; Discrepancy Cases: Continued progress in resolving discrepancy cases, including the 55 cases in which no determination of fate has yet been made; Laos: Continued cooperation in implementing trilateral investigations with the Lao; and Documents: Accelerated efforts to locate and provide all POW/MIA documents that could help lead to genuine answers. In Laos, the delegation will meet with senior Lao officials to
discuss ongoing activities to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing in Laos. In particular, the delegation will emphasize the importance of continued trilateral cooperation with the Vietnamese and seek broader access to Lao Government archival holdings.
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