The Laotian Government and the pro-Communist Pathet Leo on Wednesday (21 February) signed a ceasefire to end the war in Laos.
The Laotian Government and the pro-Communist Pathet Leo on Wednesday (21 February) signed a ceasefire to end the war in Laos. The ceasefire comes into effect on Thursday (22 February) at midday, local time, (0500 Greenwich Mean Time). It aims at ending two and a half decades of turmoil, which up to the ceasefire, involved thousands of foreign troops. The ceasefire was signed at the Vientiane home of Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma. It was signed by Laotian Government negotiator, Phen G. Phong Savan, and Pathet Leo General Secretary, Phoumi Vongvichet.
The agreement was that all troops of the parties signing the ceasefire remain where they are. The truce called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laos and a halt to United States bombing. Prisoners will be exchanged within 90 days. The agreement also calls for a new coalition government comprising Pathet Leo representatives, neutralists, rightists and members of the Laotian Royal Family. The government is to be formed within thirty days of the ceasefire.
The signing of the truce follows a telegram to the Vientiane Government by Pathet Leo leader, Prince Souphanouvong. The telegram on Monday proposed an immediate ceasefire without prejudice to the peace talks which have been underway since last October.