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Envoy to Vietnam Officially Welcomed

May 15, 1997| From Reuters

HANOI — The United States' first ambassador to postwar Vietnam began a round of protocol meetings in Hanoi on Wednesday, presenting his credentials to Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh.

Douglas "Pete" Peterson, a fighter pilot and prisoner of war in the conflict that ended 22 years ago, was greeted with little ceremony when he walked across the airport runway in Hanoi last week.

But the red carpet was rolled out and honor guards stood at attention at the grand, French-built presidential palace Wednesday for his meeting with Binh.

The 61-year-old former member of Congress presented her with an introduction from President Clinton.

Peterson then met privately with Binh for about 30 minutes.

The appointment of the first U.S. ambassador to Hanoi comes two years after the former foes normalized diplomatic ties. It was delayed because of political and legal obstacles.

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