North Vietnam insisted on Thursday (20 July) that no ceasefire could be applied to Vietnam until agreement is reached on military and political aspects of the problem.
North Vietnam insisted on Thursday (20 July) that no ceasefire could be applied to Vietnam until agreement is reached on military and political aspects of the problem. Xuan Thuy, North Vietnam's chief negotiator at the Vietnam Peace Conference, told the 151st session in Paris: "Once the military and political questions are agreed upon, all other questions, including the release of American war prisoners can easily be settled.
The tough bargaining stance by the communists indicated to some observers that the new round of secret talks between President Nixon's special envoy, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Hanoi Politburo member Le Duc Tho the previous day, failed to break the deadlock in the search for a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war.
The crucial question in the deadlock has been and remains who shall rule in Saigon after the United States pulls out its troops form South Vietnam. The Viet Cong, backed by Hanoi, is still pressing for a three-segment interim government in Saigon, while President Thieu's administration insists that the Viet-Cong sponsored National Liberation Front should take part in internationally supervised elections to determine the future of South Vietnam.
Before going into Thursday's session, Chief U.s. Negotiator, William Porter, spoke to newsmen. "We hope to be continuing today, what should be a clam discussion of their proposals and ours. We're especially interested, of course, in getting from them a clear presentation of their views about the May eighth proposals made by President Nixon."
North Vietnam's Xuan Thuy couldn't have made the communist position clearer.