PRESIDENTIAL VIEWS CONCERNING THE BOMBING HALT AND THE PARIS TALKS

Created: 10/29/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCEo3

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M^Jatery Review

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MEMORANDUM FOR: The Honorable Walt W. Rostow'^

The Honorable Dean Rusk Secretary of State

Special Assistant to the President

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Presidential Views Concerning the Bombing Halt and the Paris Talks

2. Betweenndresident Nguyen Van Thieu continued to hold discussionsumber of government officialsombing halt and the Paris talks. Among others, Thieu spoke with Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, the Prime Minister, Thieu's Special Assistant Nguyen Phu Due, the Interior and Foreign Ministers, possibly Ambassador Bui Diem, and the Chairmen of the Upper and Lower Houses.

3. While speaking with the Legislative Chairmen, the President said he had told the Americans that he had instructed several people to contact Hanoi to determine if Hanoi felt the time was propitious to engage in talks. If the DRV does not feel the time right, the Americans had been informed that the Paris talks as well as the fighting in Vietnam would continue as is. However, if Hanoi judges the occasion right, Hanoi must then talk directly to Saigon to resolve the issues. It is imperative though, that Hanoi be serious about wanting to engage in talks. Thieu added parenthetically that if Hanoi would not agree to talks with the GVN Ambassador, Thieu would be willing toVN Cabinet Minister to handle the discussions. If the DRV is serious, tha two sides could sit down and discuss the future of Vietnam, the question of peace, or any and all issues that either side cared to bring up.

The President continued, then if Hanoi "tell* me totheould be willing to make that sacrifice. However, if Hanoiould say that isf Hanoi asks to return to nationalistI

Thieu said that he was willing to sec the talks drag on for months orear, as long as NVN was serious about the talks. They should not be used for bickering or propaganda purposes, Thieu explained, and once the talks commence, the North Vietnamese "will realizem seriou3". Thieu reiterated that It did not matter if the NLF was Included in the NVN delegation. However,

he would never let NVN tell the GVN to talk with the NLF.

mi obviously concerned that NVN wasin returnombing halt. He stated he had toldthat reciprocity was the most important issue. opinion, the best reciprocal act would be for Hanoi towith the GVN, ratherilitary de-escalation orfrom the DMZ.

?. He was also concerned that. Government wished to doic"'ln"order 'to help Humphreyovember. The inclusion of the NLF at Paris would aid Humphrey, said Thieu, but the benefits are short-range. Thieu told Vice President Ky onctober that he was afraid the U. S. would force the GVN to deal with the NLF. He observed, however, that. was caught betweenthe DRV and the GVN positions on the status of the NLFonference.

8. Ky said he felt Thieu should propose,thathree-waybe convened including the"GVN,. and DRV. Thieu responded that the Americans had told him that Hanoi may referhree-way conference between the DRV,. and the NLF. Thieu felt, however, that if the DRV would not accept the inclusion of the NLF within the DRV delegation, then Hanoi was not yet ready to engage in serious talks.

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