Milestones towards 1973 Paris Agreement
VGP - The parties commenced negotiations in 1968, but it was not until January 27, 1973, that the Paris Agreement was signed in Paris, France.
March 31, 1968
President Johnson announces unilaterally stopping raiding North Viet Nam from the 20th parallel and beyond, and mentions his refusal to seek another term as President of the United States, and sends negotiators to Paris to talk with the representative of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam announces that it is ready to send a representative to contact the US representative to determine the conditions for starting a one-on-one conversation.
The two negotiating teams of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and the United States of America hold their first session at the "International Convention Center" in Paris (Kléber Hall).
Politburo member of the Viet Nam Workers' Party Le Duc Tho, Special Advisor of the Delegation of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam in Paris, arrives in Paris.
In the first private meeting with Le Duc Tho and Xuan Thuy, Harriman – Head of the American delegation – expressed impatience to soon come to the table on substantive issues.
Head of the Vietnamese delegation Xuan Thuy announces the acceptance of a four-party conference between the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam, the United States and the Republic of Viet Nam.
US President Johnson announces an end to bombing raids against North Viet Nam, starting from November 1, 1968, despite President Thieu's objections.
President of the Republic of Viet Nam Nguyen Van Thieu accepts to send a representative to the four-party Conference in Paris.
The delegation of the Republic of Viet Nam led by Pham Dang Lam who is assisted by advisor Nguyen Cao Ky, leaves Sai Gon for Paris.
The delegation of the Central Committee of the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam, led by Tran Buu Kiem - head of the delegation and Nguyen Thi Binh - deputy head, leaves for the Paris Conference
The Paris four-party Conference on Viet Nam opens its first plenary session at the International Convention Center in Paris.
The delegation of the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam offers a complete ten-point solution to the issue of South Viet Nam, in which it states that "the issue of the Vietnamese armed forces in South Viet Nam will be Vietnamese parties to settle".
Establishment of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam decides to change the Delegation of the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam at the Paris Conference on Viet Nam into the Delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam. Ms Nguyen Thi Binh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam is the head of the delegation.
Through intermediary Jean Sainteny, former French Representative General in Ha Noi, US National Security Advisor H. Kissinger secretly meets Xuan Thuy for the first time in Paris. Mai Van Do – the Representative General of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam in France – also attends the meeting.
Following the first private meeting between Special Advisor Le Duc Tho and Minister Xuan Thuy and Advisor H. Kissinger in Paris, Special Advisor Le Duc Tho and Advisor Kissinger have private meetings.
The Delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam puts forward "Eight-point" Stance on the solution to the Viet Nam issue.
At the 80th plenary session of the Paris Conference on Viet Nam, Minister Nguyen Thi Binh clarifies "Eight-point" Stance on a political solution to the Viet Nam issue, including the withdrawal of American troops and the release of prisoners at the same time and the establishment of a provisional coalition government in South Viet Nam.
President R. Nixon puts forward a Five-point proposal that does not require North Vietnamese troops to withdraw from South Viet Nam.
During the 94th plenary session of the Paris Conference on Viet Nam, Minister Nguyen Thi Binh puts forward Three-Point Declaration of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam on a ceasefire and withdrawal of American troops from Viet Nam on July 31, 1971.
Nixon offers to "exchange 8,200 North Vietnamese POWs for about 800 American and allied POWs".
At a private meeting with Minister Xuan Thuy in Paris, Kissinger puts forward a "final" proposal of seven points to separate the military issue and the political one, even though the US had previously accepted to discuss both.
During the private meeting between Le Duc Tho and Kissinger, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam puts forward nine-point proposal, focusing on demanding the US replace Nguyen Van Thieu.
At the 119th session of the four-party Conference, the Delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government puts forward a seven-point proposal on the deadline for the withdrawal of American troops and the release of prisoners, and on establishment in Sai Gon a government without Thieu.
At a private meeting with the Vietnamese side in Paris, Kissinger raises eight-point proposal, basically keeping the old position: Not wanting to solve the whole issue, but just wanting to solve the military aspect and get the prisoners back to the US.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam announces the Te- Point policy for soldiers and personnel of the Saigon government.
President Nixon unilaterally announces the "Eight-Point Peace Plan" (given by Kissinger on August 16, 1971) and the contents of the US-Viet Nam private meetings.
The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam announces the Nine-Point Solution, and points out that the White House had violated the agreement of the two sides not to disclose the contents of private meetings at the request of Kissinger himself.
At the four-party Conference, Minister Nguyen Thi Binh raised "Two key issues" in the Seven-point stance of July 1, 1971 of the Provisional Revolutionary Government.
President Nixon orders the bombing of North Viet Nam again.
The United States agrees to reconvene the four-party Conference in Paris.
The secret negotiations between Le Duc Tho and Kissinger bring about substantial outcomes.
The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam gives ten points, the US gives twelve points, agreeing to discuss both military and political aspects.
The US makes a new proposal with ten points, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam gives the US a document reaffirming a number of principles: The US must stop the war of aggression, all military involvement in Viet Nam, and all US interference in the internal affairs of the South; respect Viet Nam's right to self-determination and real independence; recognize the fact that in the South there are two governments, two armed forces and three political forces; recognize the need to form a government of national harmony.
During a private meeting, Le Duc Tho gives H. Kissinger a draft Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Viet Nam.
During a private meeting between Le Duc Tho, Xuan Thuy and Kissinger that lasts all day from October 11 to 2 a.m. on October 12, the two sides discuss the draft agreement and the schedule as follows: October 18 to stop bombing and dropping mines in the North, October 19 to initial the Agreement in Ha Noi, October 26 to officially sign the Agreement in Paris and October 27 to cease-fire in South Viet Nam.
The US informs the Vietnamese delegation that President Nixon had accepted the draft agreement discussed by the two sides.
In a note sent to the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, the US President clearly states that "the text of the Agreement is considered completed" and sets out a timetable: a ceasefire from October 28 and signing of the Agreement in Paris on October 31, 1972.
Prime Minister Pham Van Dong replies to President Nixon that he is ready to sign the agreement and agrees with Nixon's timetable mentioned above.
From December 18 to 30
The US conducts B-52 carpets bombing in Ha Noi, Hai Phong and many places in North Viet Nam, opening "Operation Lineblecker II" lasting 12 days and nights. At the same time, the US sends a note to Viet Nam requesting a meeting. The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam does not respond. Viet Nam defeats this strategic raid, establishing the victory "Dien Bien Phu in the air" causing heavy damage to the US strategic air force.
The US again sends a note requesting a meeting with the condition that the US would stop bombing from the 20th parallel to the North.
The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam demands a return to the situation before December 18, then the two sides would meet again. The U.S accepts.
The US stops bombing from the 20th parallel to the North and proposes to resume negotiations in Paris.
Meeting again, Kissinger demands to return to the November 23, 1972 agreement and review Article 1 on Viet Nam's basic national rights, but is rejected by the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. The US must abandon the "negotiation on strength" attitude.
The two sides complete the text of the Agreement. This is the last private meeting.
Special Advisor Le Duc Tho and Adviser Henry Kissinger initial the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Viet Nam.
The Foreign Ministers of the four parties to the Paris Conference: Nguyen Duy Trinh representing the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, Nguyen Thi Binh representing the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam, W. Rogers representing the United States of America, and Tran Van Lam representing the Republic of Viet Nam officially sign the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Viet Nam and four related protocols.
Ceasefire implemented throughout South Viet Nam, marking the official implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Representatives of 12 Governments participating in the International Conference on Viet Nam in Paris, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, sign the International Agreement on Viet Nam.
The first session of the South Vietnamese Consultative Conference takes place at La Celle Saint Cloud (Paris).
The last meeting of the Four-party Joint Military Commission (operating within 60 days from the signing of the Agreement until the withdrawal of US and allied troops) takes place.
The last American soldiers withdrawn from Viet Nam./.