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. 30 years on, US should draw lessons from Vietnam War: report
HANOI (AFP) May 01, 2005
The United States should reflect on the lessons of the Vietnam War and conduct itself appropriately abroad, an official Vietnamese newspaper said Sunday after the country celebrated 30 years since the end of the conflict.

"The experiences gained from the Vietnam War are fully capable of helping the United States to have a more appropriate comportment on the international scene," Hanoi Moi said.

A day after celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the former capital of the US-backed South Vietnamese regime, now renamed Ho Chi Minh City, the newspaper said the United States must draw new lessons.

"And this does not in any way compromise the development of good relations between the two countries (Vietnam and the United States)," it added.

In a thinly-veiled allusion to the war in Iraq, the daily said, "if the United States were to look back with wisdom at past wars, including the Vietnam War, it could prevent itself from painful injuries in the future."

Hanoi Moi also said the occasion might "provoke unhappy memories among the generations of Americans who were directly linked to the Vietnam War."

On Friday, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai said in a speech that Vietnam wanted to move on from past enmity and advance ties with its one-time "aggressors".

"We advocate friendly cooperation to strengthen relations with countries that took part in the Vietnam War," Khai said in an address in Hanoi to top Vietnamese leaders, war veterans and foreign envoys, including US ambassador Michael Marine.

The fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, came after 55 days and nights of fighting and sealed the defeat of the United States in Southeast Asia, strengthening the Communist Party which is still in power today.

Some three million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans were killed in the fighting.

Tens of thousands of people marked the 30th anniversary in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday with a colourful commemoration.

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