Clinton plane stops for refueling in Alaska

Posted: Monday, November 20, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- President Clinton stopped Sunday in Alaska while returning from his historic trip to Vietnam to have his plane refueled at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Clinton, wearing a leather jacket and looking relaxed, stepped from the plane with daughter Chelsea shortly after 5 p.m. to greet military personnel. He did not take questions from the media.

The refueling took about an hour and a half.

Clinton spent several days in Vietnam where he promoted increasing individual freedoms and allowing a market economy to flourish in that country. He was warmly greeted by the Vietnamese people and declared at the end of his trip that ''the years of animosity are past.''

Clinton said a lot has changed in the past 25 years since the Vietnam War ended with a communist takeover of U.S.-backed South Vietnam.

''Today we have a shared interest in your well-being and your prosperity,'' he said.

The president's optimism was tempered by Vietnam's powerful Communist Party chief, Le Kha Phieu, who expressed wariness about economic reforms and America's involvement in Vietnam. He said while the Soviet system has crumbled, the socialist system in Vietnam is still intact.

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