The two Vietnam ceasefire commissions met jointly for the first time on Sunday (4 February).?
GV & SCU Delegates arriving (2 shots)
GV ZOOM TO MV Delegates pose for newsmen
GV ZOOM TO SV Delegate waves
SV PULL OUT TO MV Photographer
SV More delegates arrive
GV ZOOM TO SV & SCU PAN North Vietnamese pose for press (2 shots)
Initials ESP/0243 ESP/0256
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The two Vietnam ceasefire commissions met jointly for the first time on Sunday (4 February). They are the Joint Military Commission (JMC), which consists of the four parties in the war - North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong and the United States - and the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS), comprising Canada, Hungary, Indonesia and Poland.
The talks, held at the suggestion of the ICCS, were held in a room of a villa allocated to the Canadians.
Mr. Michael Gauvin, Canada's delegation chief, said after the hour long talks: "This is one of the most constructive steps accomplished this week. Arrangements are being made for the release of prisoners of war."
Lieutenant-General Tran Van Tra, the Viet Cong chief representative, commented: "I am very glad to come home after long years of separation. signing the agreement in Paris was a step of progress, but to realise and implement it is a big step. We will do our utmost to implement the agreement and bring a stable and durable peace to Vietnam."
General Tra was commander of the 1968 Tet offensive against Saigon - and he was speaking in Saigon on its fifth anniversary.
The South Vietnamese government has claimed that in the first week of the ceasefire, there were 3,677 communicate killed and 125 captured, with 590 government troops killed, 2,377 wounded and 290 missing.
SYNOPSIS: The two Vietnam peace commissions held their first joint talks in Saigon on Sunday. The two bodies are the Joint Military Commission, "JMT", including the four sides involved, in the war, and the International Commission of Control and Supervision, "ICCS", which will police the ceasefire. This consists of troops from Canada, Hungary, Indonesia and Poland.
As the delegates posed for newsmen, final touches were being put to plans for the ICCS observers to leave Saigon on Monday. They'll man seven regional centres set up under the Paris ceasefire agreement.
After the photographic session, an hour-long meeting, which prompted some optimistic statements. Canada's delegation chief, Mr. Michael Gauvin, said the meeting had been one of the most constructive steps accomplished that week. He revealed that arrangements were being made for the release of war prisoners sometime this week. And General Tran Van Tra, the Viet Cong chief, said they'd do their utmost to implement the agreement, and bring a stable and durable peace to Vietnam.