Created: 4/6/1973

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Vhy the Procraotinaf

The Lao Communists appear in no great hurry to ew coalition government in Vientiane. Theirlatest tactic has been to link agreement on politl- al issuesetmilitary proposals which are unacceptable to the Lao Government. Theseormal demarcation of zones of control, aon the integration of irregulars into the Lao Army, and the abandonment of government enclaves such as Bouam Long. While these provisions almost cortainly represent the communist initialpositions and will bo modified in furtherthey doengthier process of reaching final agreement.

factors are probably tipping the scales

toward delay. By notew government, tho Pathet Lao and their mentors in Hanoi set back the deadline for tho withdrawal of North Vietnamese roops and have given themeolves more time toees the durability of the Viotnam accord. The Lao Communist loaders may also bslievc that Souvanna will eventually grant additional concessions tooalition government organized.

Government leaders in Vientiane over the past few days havo been peddling storiesplit in the Lao Communist leadership to explain pathct Lao procrastination. No evidence has been prcsonted to substantiate these rumors, however, and it appears hardly credible that the senior Communist leaders havoudden falling out after nearlyears of close harmony.

Whatever the cause of tho delay, the Lao munists probably see few reasons to move quickly to complete the peace agreement. Even though itday deadline forowtho February agreement contained no penalties for delay and the government has no practical wayressure the Pathet Lao. Tho Communists, noroovcr, are guaranteed half the scatsew government and

control of approximately two thirds of the country, and thoy are spared the pressure of US bobbing. its**



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