The representatives of Hanoi and Italy’s Lazio region signed an agreement on May 24, aiming to promote cooperation between the two sides in economics and among their small and medium-sized enterprises.
- US, Vietnam joind hands to clean up AO contamination
AP, CNN, Boston.com, Los Angeles Times, Business Week, Huffington Post, Navy Times, and Army Times, welcomed the US move, saying this was the first time since the war ended the US has directly involved in treating the toxic chemicals the US military sprayed over southern Vietnam in the 1960s.
They said the US has started a landmark project to clean up the toxic chemicals that have caused serious, long-term effects on generations of Vietnamese people and American war veterans.
Danang airport is severely contaminated by the toxic chemicals
The Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contamination project will be carried out over four years on an area of approximately 19 hectares at Danang airport. Special technologies will be used to clean contaminated soil and water resources at the airport and adjacent areas.
The US has so far provided about US$60 million for dioxin-related environmental remediation and social services. It is assessing the contamination level at its former airbase in Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province, a hotspot of dioxin contamination in Vietnam.
Phu Cat airport in Binh Dinh province and other places will be taken into account, according to ambassador Shear.
Spraying defoliants over the Mekong Delta in 1969
The US government has spent billions of US dollars compensating its war veterans exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin during the Vietnam War.
In 2004 Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/dioxin sued 37 US chemical firms for manufacturing and supplying the toxic chemicals to the US military to use in Vietnam. However, the lawsuit was turned down by US courts in 2004 and 2009. The Vietnamese side said they will pursue the suit until justice prevails in the end.