A ceremony was held in the central province of Quang Binh on April 7 to commemorate Vietnamese and US officials who died in a helicopter accident 10 years ago while on a mission to search for US servicemen missing from the war.

The ceremony was jointly held by the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Personnel (VNOSMP) and the US Joint Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Actions (MIA) Accounting Command (JPAC).

Present at the ceremony on the Vietnamese side were Deputy Foreign Minister and appointed Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Cuong, VNOSMP Management Board and leaders of Quang Binh province while the US guests included Deputy Assistant Secretary Defence for POW/MIA Robert Newberry and JPAC leaders.

On April 7, 2001, a helicopter of the Northern Service Flight Company carrying two Vietnamese officials of VNOSMP and seven Americans of JPAC was crashed in Thanh Trach commune, Bo Trach district.

All nine passengers and seven crew members were killed in the accident.

Addressing the ceremony, representatives of VNOSMP and JPAC expressed their sympathy to the bereaved, affirming the contributions of the late officials to the joint humanitarian programme conducted by the Vietnamese and US governments.

Representative of the US government thanked the Vietnamese government and people for their goodwill, humanitarian policy and efficient cooperation in helping the US settle the MIA issue./.