A Vietnamese leader has visited the US for the first time since the war that killed millions of people. President George W Bush and Prime Minister Phan Van Khai discussed human rights issues and signed an accord to ease religious restrictions in Vietnam.
Bush also accepted an invitation to the communist country next year.
The Vietnamese premier’s visit drew crowds of demonstrators who gathered in Washington to protest at the nation’s human rights record.
Anger over the Vietnam war still simmers on both sides. In the US Hanoi is accused of witholding information on Americans who are still missing from the Vietnam war.
Diplomatic relations were only restored ten years ago – now the US is Vietnam’s key trading partner.
But observers say the legacy of the war which ended 30 years ago still haunts both countries – it left 60,000 US troops and some two million Vietnemese dead.