The neutralist Prime Minister of Laos, Prince Souvanna Phouma, expressed hopes in London on Monday (October 18) for an end to the war in Indo-China during "the next two years".
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Background: The neutralist Prime Minister of Laos, Prince Souvanna Phouma, expressed hopes in London on Monday (October 18) for an end to the war in Indo-China during "the next two years". This could be made possible by better relations which could follow President Nixon's visit to Peking early next year, the Prince told reporters after meetings with U.K. Premier Mr Edward Heath and Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home. He was on a 24-hour visit to the British capital.
SYNOPSIS: Hopes for an end to the Indo-China war within the next two years were expressed in London on Monday by Prince Souvanna Phouma, neutralist Prime Minister of Laos. The Prince, on a 24-hours visit to the British capital, was speaking to reporters following separate meetings with British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home -- the two mean posed together for photographers -- and Prime Minister Mr Edward Heath. The Prince said that in his half-hour discussion with Sir Alec, he had urged the British Government to do all it could to help Laos in its "genuine desire" for neutrality. Sir Alec, said the Prince, promised the British Government would continue its efforts. Britain has special interests in Laos where, with the Soviet Union, it is co-chairman of neutrality and war-conduct agreements.
Later the Prince met Prime Minister Mr. Neath at his official residence, where the Prince said he had "useful" discussions. Following the meeting, the Prince said he based his hopes on peace for Indo-China on President Nixon's visit to Peking early next year. The visit could create a better climate in relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, he said. For if the communists thought America was sincere they might modify their war policies in south east Asia. But he also made it clear that he regarded the total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam as a basic condition for ending the war there. The Prince, who had arrived in London from Paris, was du to return there on Tuesday before flying home via Thailand. His French visit which included talks with President Georges Pompidou, was also private.