WORLD : Baker to Meet Vietnam Minister

From Times Wire Services

The United States took a step in its painful reconciliation with Vietnam today, announcing that Secretary of State James A. Baker III will meet his Vietnamese counterpart Saturday in the highest-level contact since the Vietnam War.

The State Department said Baker decided to meet Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach in New York to acknowledge Vietnam's positive contribution in recent progress toward settling the civil war in Cambodia.

The meeting will be the highest-level official contact between the former bitter enemies since the Paris peace talks in 1973, two years before the war ended with U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. The Bush Administration was under mounting congressional pressure to decide on such a move.

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