HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, June 12 (UPI) -- Former Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet, who helped normalize U.S.-Vietnam relations, died in a Singapore hospital after a long illness at age 86.
Kiet, who died Wednesday, was a former member of the Politburo and the Party Central Committee, a former Party Central Committee's adviser and a former National Assembly deputy, Vietnam News Network reported.
Kiet was the prime minister of Vietnam from 1991 to 1997. He was one of the Vietnamese political leaders who led the economic reforms initiated in Vietnam, the report said.
Government leaders said Kiet, who lived in Ho Chi Minh City until his hospitalization, will have a state funeral Saturday and Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City.
In extending sympathy, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Kiet "improved the lives of tens of millions of Vietnamese."
"His efforts helped pave the way for the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam in 1995," Rice said in a statement. "The United States values its continued partnership with the government and people of Vietnam in our broadening and deepening relationship."