• Short Summary

    In Vientiane, the administrative capital of Laos, there are unconfirmed reports that the Laotian Government and the pro-communist Pathet Lao will shortly announce the signing of a comprehensive peace settlement.

  • Description

    In Vientiane, the administrative capital of Laos, there are unconfirmed reports that the Laotian Government and the pro-communist Pathet Lao will shortly announce the signing of a comprehensive peace settlement.

    A ceasefire was signed between the two sides five months ago, at the time of the Vietnam ceasefire, but since then negotiations have dragged on inconclusively.

    However, recently some progress has been reported. The neutralisation of Vientiane and the royal capital of Luang Prabang was recently agreed upon as was the composition of a new coalition government -- cabinet portfolios are to be divided between the present incumbents, the Pathet Lao and neutrals.

    But one of the major stumbling blocks to a successful conclusion to the negotiations has been the presence of foreign forces in Laos helping the two sides. The Pathet Lao have been reported to be receiving help from North Vietnamese troops, while the Government side has been receiving American aid. It is reported that agreement has been reached on the disengagement of all foreign forces in Laos.

    The Laotian economy, the weakest in Southeast Asia, has inevitably been seriously dislocated by the long hostilities and the inconclusive negotiations. Food production has been drastically curtailed by the hostilities, and in an economy that is 90% subsistence this has had a serious impact on the price levels of basic foods. Additionally much foodstuff has had to be imported. The value of the Laotian Kip has fallen dramatically over the past few years. Since the beginning of 1973 it has fallen against the pound sterling by 7 1/2%, despite the latter's declining value on world money markets.

    The successful conclusion of the peace negotiations would appear to be an essential precondition for the stabilization and recovery of the battered Laotian economy.

    SYNOPSIS: In Vientiane, the administrative capital of Laos, there are unconfirmed reports that a general peace settlement has been reached. Since the ceasefire, five months ago, negotiations have been taking place between the Laotian Government and the pro-communist Pathet Lao.

    It is reported that agreement has been reached on the withdrawal of foreign forces from Laos. These American-built transport 'planes are of a type that, it is claimed, have been used for transporting Laotian government troops and supplies to combat areas.

    The Pathet Lao, whose Vientiane headquarters are seen here, have for their part been accused of receiving support from North Vietnamese regulars.

    Meanwhile in the market place at Vientiane prices of essential foodstuffs continue to rise. Areas under cultivation have shrunk drastically due to the fighting, and in an economy that is 90% subsistence this has meant a tremendous rise in imports.

    Expensive gold ornaments for Vientiane's wealthier citizens also have to be imported. While exports, never very large, have fallen away still further, imports have trebled in the last three years. The value of the Laotian Kip has dropped badly in the last few years. Since the beginning of 1973 it has fallen against the pound sterling by seven and a half per cent, despite the latter's declining value on world markets.

    So for the inhabitants of Laos both their economic and political future is in the balance.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA1TVRSU8BQ4SUSJZBOX5B27XAN
    Media URN:
    VLVA1TVRSU8BQ4SUSJZBOX5B27XAN
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    06/08/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:55:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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