Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong said on Sunday (5 March) he was optimistic that the border conflict with Cambodia would be settled soon.
GV of Mahaweli River
SV Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong arriving
SV INT Viet PM being shown plan of Mahaweli River basin project (3 SHOTS)
SV Viet PM arrives at Royal Botanical Gardens accompanied by Sri Lankan Agriculture Minister E.L. Senanayaka and is given ebony sapling for planting
SV Viet PM plants and waters sapling (4 SHOTS)
SV Viet PM presented with orchid bloom
GV Orchid blooms
SV Viet PM touring Orchid House (5 SHOTS)
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Background: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong said on Sunday (5 March) he was optimistic that the border conflict with Cambodia would be settled soon. Mr. Dong made the remarks to newsmen at the end of a four day visit to Sri Lanka. The Vietnamese leader explained his country's view of the conflict in a series of wide ranging talks with Sri Lanka's President Jayawardene. Mr. Dong also initialled agreements for the expansion of trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: On Saturday (4 March), Mr. Dong took time out from his talks to tour the picturesque hill region of Kandy, 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Colombo, where he inspected the giant Mahaweli River Baisn project which will bring some 900,000 acres under cultivation in the next few years. (SEQ 1-3)
Earlier, the trip included a stop at the lush Royal Botanical Gardens, where he was met by the Sri Lankan Agriculture Minister Mr. Senanayaka.
After planting an ebony sapling, Mr. Dong viewed a stunning collection of orchids.
During his talks with President Jayawardene, Mr. Dong said he made Vietnam's position on Cambodia quite clear. He denied at a press conference that Vietnam was working towards the formation of a federation of Indochina states with a view to dominating its members.
Mr. Dong said it was up to Sri Lanka as chairman of the non-aligned movement, to do whatever it can to end the conflict although no formal request has been made.
The Vietnamese leader expressed optimism about improving relations with the United States on the basis of a three-point package deal. The normalisation of relations, an obligation by the United States to contribute to the reconstruction of Vietnam and the question of US men missing or dead in action. (SEQ 4-8)