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Encyclopedia > Paris Peace Accords

The Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV or North Vietnam), the Republic of Vietnam (RVN or South Vietnam), and the United States, as well as the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) that represented indigenous South Vietnamese revolutionaries. The intent was to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam Conflict. The accords ended direct U.S. military involvement and temporarily ended the fighting between north and south. The negotiations that led to the accord had begun in 1968 and had been subject to various lengthy delays. The main negotiators of the agreement were United States National Security Advisor Dr. Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese politburo member Le Duc Tho; the two men were awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts, although Le Duc refused to accept it. 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa), also known as North Vietnam, was founded by Ho Chi Minh and was recognized by China and the USSR in 1950. ... National motto: ??? Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809km² N/A population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... (Caution: Saigon was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City on May 1, 1975 after the Fall/Liberation of Saigon. ... The Vietnam War was a war fought between 1957 and 1975 on the ground in South Vietnam and bordering areas of Cambodia and Laos (See Secret War) and in bombing runs (Rolling Thunder) over North Vietnam. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues. ... Henry Alfred Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923 in Fürth) is a German-born American diplomat, and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. ... Politburo is short for Political Bureau. ... Le Duc Tho (Lê Ðức Thọ  ) (October 14, 1911 – October 13, 1990) was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Lester B. Pearson after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize (Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) is the name of one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ...

Contents

Provisions of the accords

The document began with the statement that "the United States and all other countries respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Vietnam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam." The inclusion of this provision was a victory for the communist side of the negotiations by allowing that the war was not a foreign aggression against South Vietnam. The main military and political provisions of the agreement were: The Geneva Conference (April 26 - July 21, 1954) was a conference between many countries that agreed to end hostilities and restore peace in French Indochina and Korea. ...

  • Beginning on 27 January at midnight, Greenwich Mean Time - in Saigon time, 08:00 on 28 January - there would be an in-place ceasefire. North and South Vietnamese forces were to hold their locations. They were permitted to resupply military materiel to the extent necessary to replace items consumed in the course of the truce.
  • Following the ceasefire, U.S. troops (along with other foreign soldiers) would begin to withdraw, with withdrawal to be complete within sixty days. Simultaneously, U.S. prisoners of war would be released and allowed to return home. The parties to the agreement agreed to assist in repatriating the remains of the dead.
  • There would be negotiations between the two South Vietnamese parties -- the Republic of Vietnam and the PRG - towards a political settlement that would allow the people of South Vietnam to decide their future in free elections.
  • Reunification of Vietnam was to be "carried out step by step through peaceful means."

January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Time zones of Europe: Light colours indicate countries not observing daylight saving Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is a term originally referring to mean solar time at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in England. ... January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war or any armed conflict, where each side of the conflict agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ...

Paris peace talks

Early deadlocks

Shaken by the success of anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy in the New Hampshire primary, in March 1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson halted bombing operations over the northern portion of the DRV (Operation Rolling Thunder), in order to encourage Hanoi to begin negotiations. Shortly thereafter Hanoi agreed to discuss a complete halt of the bombing, and a date was set for representatives of both parties to meet in Paris. The sides first met on 10 May, with the delegations headed by Xuan Thuy, who would remain the official leader of the North Vietnamese delegation throughout the process, and U.S. ambassador-at-large Averell Harriman. Eugene Joseph Gene McCarthy (March 29, 1916 – December 10, 2005) was an American politician and a longtime member of the U.S. Congress. ... The New Hampshire primary marks the opening of the quadrennial U.S. presidential election. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... “LBJ” redirects here. ... Combatants United States (U.S.) Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) Commanders Joseph H. Moore William W. Momyer George S. Brown Phung The Tai (Air Defense) Nguyen Van Tien (Air Force) Casualties U.S. Air Force, 381 KIA or MIA/222 POWs (23 died in captivity, 1... Hanoi (Vietnamese: Hà Ná»™i, Hán Tá»±: 河内)  , estimated population 3,145,300(2005), is the capital of Vietnam. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... During the Vietnam War, Xuan Thuy was a representative of the North Vietnamese government to the peace talks with the United States in Paris. ... William Averell Harriman William Averell Harriman (November 15, 1891 – July 26, 1986) was a Governor of New York. ...


For five months the negotiations stalled as the DRV demanded that all bombing of North Vietnam be stopped, while the U.S. side demanded that North Vietnam agree to a reciprocal de-escalation in South Vietnam; it was not until 31 October that Johnson agreed to end the air strikes and serious negotiations could begin. Fearing that this breakthrough in the talks would propel his Democratic opponent to victory, Republican nominee in the 1968 U.S. Presidential election Richard M. Nixon intervened to persuade RVN President Nguyen Van Thieu to avoid the talks, promising him a better deal for South Vietnam under a Nixon presidency. October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ... President Nguyen Van Thieu Nguyen Van Thieu, (April 5, 1923 – September 29, 2001) was a former General and President of South Vietnam. ...


One of the largest hurdles to effective negotiation was the fact that the DRV and its ally in South Vietnam, the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF, or derogatively, Viet Cong), refused to recognize the government of South Vietnam; with equal persistence, the government in Saigon refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the NLF. Harriman resolved this dispute by developing a system by which the DRV and U.S. would be the named parties; NLF officials could join the DRV team without being recognized by South Vietnam, while Saigon's representatives joined their U.S. allies. A similar debate concerned the table to be used at the conference. The North favored a circular table, in which all parties, including NLF representatives, would appear to be 'equal' in importance. The South Vietnamese argued that only a rectangular table was acceptable, for only a rectangle could show two distinct sides to the conflict. Eventually a compromise was reached, in which representatives of the northern and southern governments would sit at a circular table, with members representing all other parties sitting on individual square tables around them. NLF flag The National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam. ... Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese: Thành Chí Minh) is the largest city in Vietnam, located near the delta of the Mekong River. ...


In 1969, Richard Nixon succeeded to the U.S. presidency and replaced Harriman with Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., who was later replaced by David Bruce. Also that year, the NLF set up a 'Provisional Revolutionary Government', (PRG), to gain government status at the talks. However, the primary negotiations that led to the agreement did not occur at the Peace Conference at all but were carried out during secret negotiations between Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, which began on 4 August 1969. For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. ... David Bruce jr. ... (Caution: Saigon was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City on May 1, 1975 after the Fall/Liberation of Saigon. ... August 4 is the 216th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (217th in leap years), with 149 days remaining. ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ...


The DRV insisted for three years that the agreement could not be concluded unless the U.S. agreed to remove South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu from power and replace him with someone more acceptable to Hanoi. Nixon and Kissinger were unwilling to overthrow through an agreement a government the NLF had failed to overthrow by force of arms. President Nguyen Van Thieu Nguyen Van Thieu, (April 5, 1923 – September 29, 2001) was a former General and President of South Vietnam. ...


Breakthrough and agreement

The major breakthrough came on 8 October 1972. The DRV had been disappointed by the results of the its Nguyen Hue Offensive (known in the West as the Easter Offensive), and feared increased isolation if Nixon's efforts at détente significantly improved U.S relations with the chief communist powers, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, who were backing the DRV's military effort. In a meeting with Kissinger, Tho significantly modified his bargaining line, allowing that the Saigon regime could remain in power and that negotiations between the two South Vietnamese parties could develop a final settlement during a ceasefire. Within ten days the secret talks drew up a final draft. Kissinger held a press conference in Washington during which he announced that "peace is at hand." Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ... October 8 is the 281st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (282nd in leap years). ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Eastertide Offensive was a military campaign in the Vietnam War. ... Détente is a French term, meaning a relaxing or easing; the term has been used in international politics since the early 1970s. ...

Signing the peace accords.
Signing the peace accords.

When Thieu, who had not even been informed of the secret negotiations, was presented with the draft of the new agreement, he knew a fait accompli when he saw one. He was furious with Kissinger and Nixon (who were perfectly aware of South Vietnam's negotiating position) and refused to accept it with out significant changes. He then made several public and radio addresses, claiming that the proposed agreement was worse than it actually was. Hanoi was flabbergasted, believing that it had been duped into a propaganda ploy by Kissinger. On 26 October Radio Hanoi broadcast key details of the draft agreement. Image File history File links Vietnam_peace_agreement_signing. ... Image File history File links Vietnam_peace_agreement_signing. ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 66 days remaining. ...


However, as U.S casualties mounted throughout the conflict, American domestic support for the war had deteriorated, and by 1973 there was major pressure on the Nixon administration to withdraw. Consequently, the U.S. brought great diplomatic pressure upon their South Vietnamese ally to sign the peace treaty even if the concessions Thieu wanted could not be achieved. Nixon pledged continued substantial aid to South Vietnam, and given his recent landslide victory in the presidential election it seemed possible that he would be able to follow through on that pledge. (In the event, most of the promised aid did not materialize; Nixon's power rapidly collapsed due to the Watergate scandal.) To demonstrate his seriousness to Thieu, Nixon ordered the heavy Operation Linebacker II bombings of the DRV in December 1972. These operations were also designed to keep DRV at the negotiating table and to prevent it from abandoning negotiations and seeking total victory. With the U.S. committed to disengagement (and after threats from Nixon that South Vietnam would be abandoned if he did not agree), Thieu had little choice but to accede. 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Combatants United States (U.S.) Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) Commanders John W. Vogt, jr. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ...


On 15 January 1973, Nixon announced a suspension of offensive actions against North Vietnam. Kissinger and Tho met again on 23 January and signed off on a treaty that was basically identical to the draft of three months earlier. The agreement was signed by the leaders of the official delegations on 27 January at the Majestic Hotel in Paris. January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... January 23 is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 27 is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Aftermath

Soon after the agreements were signed, the Soviet Union and PRC resumed their support for the DRV. Affected by the disasterous Watergate scandal, Nixon couldn’t convince the Congress to provide more support to the RVN's military. In 1975, the Republic of Vietnam was overwealmed by the Ho Chi Minh Offensive. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ...


Signers

  • Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. led the U.S. delegation.
  • William P. Rogers, U.S. Secretary of State
  • Tran Van Lam, Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Vietnam
  • Nguyen Duy Trinh, Minister for Foreign Affairs for The Democratic Republic of Vietnam
  • Nguyen Thi Binh, Minister for Foreign Affairs for The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. ... William Pierce Rogers (June 23, 1913 – January 2, 2001) was an American politician, who served as a Cabinet officer in the administrations of two U.S. Presidents in the third quarter of the 20th century. ... In several countries, Secretary of State is a senior government position. ... Charles Tran Van Lam, also known as simply Tran Van Lam was Minister for Foreign Affairs for The Republic of Vietnam during the height of the Vietnam War. ... Nguyễn Thị Bình (阮氏平), nee Nguyễn Châu Sa, is a Vietnamese politician who has played an important role in political scene and history of Vietnam during and after the Vietnam War. ...

Other key figures in the negotiations

Henry Alfred Kissinger (born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923 in Fürth) is a German-born American diplomat, and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. ... Le Duc Tho (Lê Ðức Thọ  ) (October 14, 1911 – October 13, 1990) was a Vietnamese revolutionary, general, diplomat, and politician. ...

External links

Further reading

  • Herrington, Stuart A. "Peace with Honor? An American Reports on Vietnam" Presidio Press (1983). Part II, "Life Under The Paris Agreement" pp. 16–40.

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