RESULTS OF NGUYEN PHONG THIEP'S 21 OCTOBER 1968 VISIT TO SAIGON

Created: 10/25/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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MEMORANDUM FOR: Tho Honorable Walt W. RostoW Special Aaaistant to the President

The Honorable Dean Rusk Secretary of State

of Nguyen Phong Thiep's

8 Visit to Saigon

IH^^HHi Nguyen Phong Thiep, member of theobserver delegation to the Pariseturnedon8ne day visit to Saigon,Foreign Minister Nguyen Chanh Thanh Instructedtell South Vietnamese Consul General and observerPhan Dang Lsm that, until the commencement of secondsubstantive discussions between the Americans and thewould take place aolely ln Saigon and Lam thus borein this area. This was In response to Lam'sthat be was not being kept fully informed about talks inThanh promisedbetter informed,

and this has been borne out by an Increase In reporting from Saigon

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FOR RELEASE

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delegation and would be arriving soon in Paris. Vu VuongSaigon lawyer, probably will not join*theof the press of personal business in Saigon. Linh, Director of Vietnam Presse, has insisted that hethe personal rank of Ambassadorrecondition forthe delegation as Linh

bases this demand on his belief that Mr. William Jorden, U. S. Mission spokesman, has the same rank. Thanh told Thiep that he doubted that he could agree to this condition. For the job of military delegate, Thanh said that former IV Corps Commander and Revolutionary Development Chief General Nguyen Due Thang was being actively considered but that no decision has been made.

4. During his visit to Saigon, Thieprivate>

President Nguyen Van Thieu. Thieu said chat there was no fundamental disagreement between himself and the Americans on the question of ultimately permitting the National Liberation Front to participate in the political life of South Vietnam by standing for public office in free elections. The main difference was rather the point of permitting the Liberation Front to take part in the negotiations without first having established their right to do so in this way. President Thieu said that he was afraid that chaos would result in Saigon if the Liberation Front joined the negotiationseparate entity. He said that he expected trouble from the military, the Catholics and the militant Buddhists. Among the military, he believed the main trouble would come from company grade officers and lower ranks since the general officers were fairly well under control and the field grade officers could understand why it might be necessary to make concessions to the Liberation Front. He said that he was less confident of the ability of the Catholic hierarchy to control the Catholics, particularly if the militant Buddhists began causing trouble.

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