The Vietnam peace agreement initialled in Paris Tuesday (23 January) by the United States and North Vietnam is the culmination of four years tough negotiations, often accompanied by bitter recriminations, both in public and secret talks.
GV Officials round table ZOOM Dr. Kissinger signing
SV PAN Le Duc Tho signing (2 shots)
SV Kissinger signing
SV Le Duc Tho ditto
CU Documents initialled by Kissinger
CU Le Duc Tho initials document
GV Delegates at table
CU Le Duc Tho & Xuan Thuy
SV Kissinger & party rise from table
SV Le Duc Tho & Kissinger shaking hands
CU Handshake ZOOM OUT TO both men smiling
SV Kissinger & Le Duc Tho leaving room
SV Kissinger & Le Duc Tho towards car & shake hands
Initials SGM/1620 SGM/1600
This U.S. official film shows the two chief negotiators initialling the peace agreement at the International Conference Centre in Paris.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Vietnam peace agreement initialled in Paris Tuesday (23 January) by the United States and North Vietnam is the culmination of four years tough negotiations, often accompanied by bitter recriminations, both in public and secret talks.
The agreement reached by President Nixon's negotiator Dr. Henry Kissinger and Hanoi's envoy Le Duc Tho came after twenty-four rounds of discussions between the two men -- many lasting several days and running into hundreds of hours since the two men first met in August of 1969. But it was not until last September, following President Nixon's visits to Peking and Moscow, that the two chief negotiators began to approach an understanding. In October, the first major breakthrough came when North Vietnam agreed to separate the political and military problems. In return, the Untied States dropped its insistence on making the withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from the South a major issue.
On October 26, Hanoi announced that a nine-point accord had been reached. Dr. Kissinger confirmed the details of the accord and said "peace is at hand." But, objections by South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thiue forced President Nixon to demand modifications to the agreement.
The talks broke down on December 13, and the U.S. President ordered the intensive bombing raids on North Vietnam from December 18th to 29th.
It was just two weeks after the talks resumed on January 9th, that the final peace agreement was initialled by Dr. Kissinger and Le Duc Tho.
SYNOPSIS: At noon on Tuesday, four years of sometimes stormy public and private negotiations ended in Paris with the initialling of a peace agreement to end the conflict in Vietnam. Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's chief negotiator, and Le Duc Tho, North Vietnam's special envoy, put their initials on the agreement that will formally result in a ceasefire in vietnam on Saturday.
Dr. Kissinger met with Le Duc Tho in twenty-four rounds of secret negotiations, since August 1969, to reach this final accord. But it was not until last September that the two negotiators came even close to an understanding. At the end of October North Vietnam announced a nine-point accord had been reached. And, Dr. Kissinger said "peace is at hand." Objections by South Vietnam's President Thieu forced President Nixon to demand modifications to that agreement. It was only two-weeks after the talks resumed this month -- after twelve days of intensive bombing of North Vietnam -- that this initialling ceremony took place.
After the signing, the two negotiators showed a cordiality that had long been absent from their meetings. Both sides had made concessions -- the Untied States did not insist on the withdrawal of the North Vietnamese troops from South Vietnam, and North Vietnam agreed to a large international control commission to supervise the ceasefire in Vietnam.
Shortly after the ceasefire agreement is formally signed on Saturday the guns in Vietnam should fall silent. Remaining U.S. troops are to be withdrawn, and prisoners of war released, within sixty days of the signing. Thirty days after the signing an international conference will being to guarantee the peace in Vietnam. It is now hoped the accord worked out by Dr. Kissinger and Le Du Tho will be the foundation for as lasting peace in vietnam.