Soon after President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, on Thursday (April 5) he told newsmen he would never ask United States troops to come back to Vietnam.
STV ZOOM BACK TO GV..Thieu past guard of honour, towards Tomb of Unknown Soldier
SV Flag bearers
SV Thieu lays wreath
GV EXTERIOR.. Building
MV INTERIOR..Thieu and Agnew out of room and pose of press
GV & SV Thieu at press club lunch (3 shots)
MV Thieu speaking
Initials ES.1739 ES. 1800
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Soon after President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, on Thursday (April 5) he told newsmen he would never ask United States troops to come back to Vietnam.
President Thieu had opened his two-day official visit to Washington with the solemn wreath-laying ceremony in the cemetery where many of the 46,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are buried. There was tight security in the grounds of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier but only about 100 tourists and a few South Vietnamese living in America watched.
Later President Thieu met Vice President Spiro Agnew. After the meeting the Vice President said briefly that both the United States and President Thieu were interested in peace and stability in South East Asia.
Then, in an address and news conference at a National Press Club lunch, President Thieu told journalists that he would never ask American troops to come back to Vietnam. Vietnam, he added, could survive without United States help.
In the part of his speech recorded on film, President Thieu said:
"Like I said a while ago I am very confident that our army and our people are very capable to defend themselves against renewed aggression. Because don't think that when the Communists can't win the war in 1972 - I don't believe that they can win the war, even though they would like to renew another aggression war for 15 more years. I can assure you one thing -- never, never would I ask American troops to come back to Vietnam."
President Thieu arrived in Washington on Wednesday (April 4) after two days of talks with President Nixon at the Western White House in San Clemente, California. Reports say South Vietnam was promised continuing but unspecified amounts of U.S. aid.