Israel in Vietnam? New ambassador presents credentials to Peres

It seems that Uganda was not the only alternative proposal for the creation of a Jewish State. President Shimon Peres on Wednesday disclosed to Din Xuan Luu, the first resident ambassador of Vietnam in Israel, that David Ben Gurion, Israel's founding prime minister had been on very friendly terms with Ho Chi Minh, the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, who in 1946 offered him the use of Vietnam for the establishment of the State of Israel in exile. For that reason said Peres, Israel has always had a high regard and great respect for Vietnam. Peres continued that without taking sides with regard to the Vietnam War he felt the need to pay tribute to the courage of the Vietnamese who were then fighting against the most technologically- advanced army in the world. This was something that Israel, which like Vietnam has paid a heavy price in war, could appreciate, said Peres, who recalled that when General Moshe Dayan had gone to Vietnam during the war, he had come away greatly impressed by the courage of the Vietnamese people. Although Vietnam officially entered into diplomatic relations with Israel in 1993, the historic relationship goes back much further, said Din, who emphasized how honored he was to be his country's first resident ambassador in Israel.