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Vietnam is truly one of the most important "frontiers" left on the planet.

Ha Noi, Oct. 5 (VNA) -- The national daily Nhan Dan today, Oct.5, 2001, hails the U.S. Senate's approval on Thursday of the trade pact between Vietnam and the United States as a new step forward in the normalisation of Vietnam-U.S. bilateral ties.

"Vietnam welcomes the U.S. Senate's passing of the Viet Nam-U.S. bilateral trade agreement by a majority of vote, and also acknowledges U.S. President George W. Bush's statement calling the Senate's action a significant step to promote the ties between the two countries," Nhan Dan says.

"The trade pact is the result of concerted efforts from both sides," it points out, saying "That the pact has been passed and will take effect soon will benefit both countries."

Nhan Dan also describes as a "positive step" the fact that the U.S. Senate did not bring to a vote the so-called "Vietnam Human Rights Act" together with the approval of the trade pact as had been done by the U.S House of Representatives.

"We appreciate the clear-cut stance of the majority of the U.S. Senators towards the interest of the normalization of Vietnam-U.S. relations," Nhan Dan says.
It goes on: "We believe that the so-called 'Vietnam Human Rights Act' will never be passed because it blatantly interferes into Vietnam's internal affairs, violates the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law as well as runs counter to the interests of both Vietnamese and American people."

Nhan Dan reaffirms Vietnam's foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, and openness as well as multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, saying:
"Vietnam is prepared to be a reliable friend and partner of all nations in the international community striving for peace, independence and development."

"We stand for normalizing our relations with the United States on the basis of respect for each other's independence and sovereignty, non-intervention into each other's internal affairs, equality and mutually-beneficial cooperation," the newspaper says.

"These principles serve as the ground for our talks and conclusion of the trade pact with the United States," it adds.

The paper says: "We have acknowledged the endorsement of the trade pact by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept.6, considering it a necessary step to develop the normal ties between the two countries. But we have also come out strongly against the 'Vietnam Human Rights Act' because it aims to link economic and commercial ties with political conditions."

Nhan Dan also recalls the Vietnamese people's hardship and sacrifices in their past struggles for the right to live in independence, freedom and happiness, as well as their relentless efforts to continue to develop human rights at present, stressing "We fully understand the value of independence and freedom and the right to live in happiness."

"Although our starting-point in socio-economic development is still lower than others countries' and having experienced 30 years of devastating wars, the Vietnamese people will overcome all challenges and seize every opportunity in their active integration into the world economy with their tradition of friendship," the
newspaper says.

"We have the potential and strength to achieve the goals of a prosperous people, a strong country and an equitable, democratic and civilised society, and to preserve and develop human rights for every person and the whole community," it concludes.--VNA


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