Thousands of flag-waving people greeted a 25-members North Vietnamese delegation when they arrived in Saigon on Wednesday (12 November) for talks with the South Vietnamese Government on re-uniting the country.
GV Crowds at airport
GV Aircraft arriving
SV People with flags beneath sign "Saigon Tan Son Nhut".
LV Aircraft taxiing
SV Crowd waving National flags
SV & LV N. Vietnamese delegates out of aircraft and greeted
SV Guard of Honour
LV & CU Heads of two delegations, Ttuong Chinh (nearest) (N. VIETNAM): Mr. Phan Hung (S. Vietnam)
LV National flags
LV ZOOM IN to CU Delegation heads walking past cheering crowds
CU Other N. Vietnamese delegates
CU Mr. Xuan Thuy with other delegates
SV Delegates and crowds (2 shots)
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Background: Thousands of flag-waving people greeted a 25-members North Vietnamese delegation when they arrived in Saigon on Wednesday (12 November) for talks with the South Vietnamese Government on re-uniting the country.
The delegation, led by North Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Truong Chinh, includes Xuan Thuy, leader of the Hanoi team at the Paris peace talks that led to the United States' withdrawal from Vietnam.
It was greeted at Saigon Airport by top South Vietnamese officials including Phan Hung, a member of the National Liberation Front (NLF) who will lead the Saigon negotiators.
After the welcoming ceremony the two delegations were driven to the Independence Palace in the capital, venue for the discussions.
The talks will cover holding a general election for a National Assembly and setting up state organs for a unified Vietnam.
Reunification is expected to be declared early next year.
Political observers in South Vietnam--quoted by Reuters--believe the formal act of re-unification will be linked with the re-opening of the railway between Saigon and Hanoi, badly devastated by 34 years of warfare.
Thousands of men and women are currently rebuilding hundreds of damaged bridges, culverts and stretches of line. The line in North Vietnam was bombed constantly by the U.S. Air Force throughout the war and the southern part of the line only operated spasmodically.
Observers believe it is now only a matter of time before the late North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh's maxim becomes fact: "Vietnam is one country, the Vietnamese are one people. Rivers can be dried up, mountains can be worn out, but this truth can never be changed.