PARIS — An exhibition titled “Friendship village in Viet Nam” opened in Saint Quentin, northern France, on Monday to raise funds for disabled Vietnamese people, especially victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the Aisne province’s Republic Association of War Veterans and Victims, Antoine Gilbert Crestani, said he wanted to express the desire of war veterans and the French people to help the Vietnamese overcome the war’s aftermath, and especially support Vietnamese AO victims.
The city’s Deputy Mayor, Alain Gilout, said: “The exhibition is a beautiful symbol of friendship between nations, expressing wishes for peace and solidarity.”
Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Dinh Bin thanked the French friends for their initiative in organising the exhibition, and said that Agent Orange/dioxin sprayed by the US army between 1961-1971 had seriously affected Vietnamese people and veterans from belligerent countries.
French friends’ support for Viet Nam’s AO victims is an example of the friendship and co-operation between the two peoples, said Bin.
The exhibition was open to the French public on May 16 and 17. During the exhibition, the Aisne province’s ARAC organised programmes such as film screenings, concerts and displays of traditional Vietnamese products, to raise funds to expand the Van Canh Friendship Village’s operations.
The organising committee called for French support for Vietnamese AO victims in their lawsuit against 36 chemical companies that provided the toxic substances to the US army during the war in Viet Nam. — VNS