MFFCVECRELEASE DATE: 2
NOBEMBER THAT GEN BIG MINH HAD INVITED GENERAL PHOUMI PAY AN INCOGNITO AND DISCREET VISIT TO SAIGON AT END NOVEMBER. DON BELIEVES IT PARTICULARLY ESSENTIAL ESTABLISH GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH LAOS IN ORDEROLLABORATIVE EFFORT ALONG LAO-VIETNAM BORDER 1GAINST VIET CONG LINES OF SUPPLY AND COMMUNICATION. HE SAID THAT LAOTIANS DO NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FORCE TO COVER THIS AREA THEMSELVES AND ARE QUITE HILLING AND ANXIOUS THAT VIETNAMESE ASSIST BUT VIETNAMESE WISH TO BE CORRECT IN CLEARING ANY SUCH ACTIVITY WITH LAO* VIETNAMESE WOULD USE SPECIAL FORCES UNITS IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES AS REGULAR ARMY WOULD NOT HANDLE MATTER
DISCREETLY ENOUGH. DON SAID THEY HAD HIGH REGARD FOR GENERAL PHOUMI AND LOOK FORWARD TO FRUITFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH HIM.
mportance of including souvanna phouha in atfy contacts ^ith laos. ve believe, and general don asreed,that neutralists and "general phoumi forces working very well together and it important to maintain this close collaboration in interests of free ,B. importance of maintaining some form of balances in laos rather than taking tooosition, as open conflict invites flajor,drvnd although we are working on it, up to now Vt*Wvi^bot:built adequate strength on non-communist side to withstand n
C. within these limits we concur with desirability ofand stepping up discreetly handled vietnamese operatons in cross border area of same nature we trained for aninitiated1 anduspended during period immediately after geneva accords2 and have endeavored to resume in recent months with first results just coming in.
< 4. comment 1 generals were most confiding and open in expressing, their ideas but they anticipate that they will be treated with discretion. thus request most limited distribution this information and non-exposure outside american channels in order encourage generals continue keeprank and honest -mutual channel of information and suggestion.
this message passed to ambassador lodge and general harkins. suggest addresses pass to local ambassadors on limited basis.
25BB -SKREfOriginal document.