Exactly 50 years ago, on January 23, 1973, the Peace Agreement was signed in Paris that laid the foundations for ending the war in Vietnam, one of the bloodiest wars of the 20th century.
Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State of the US administration led by Richard Nixon, and his Vietnamese counterpart Le Duc Tuh sat at the negotiating table in a freezing climate. The main negotiators of this agreement were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
It was US President Richard Nixon: overwhelmed by the Watergate scandal and protests increasingly insistent on an 18-year war, with millions of casualties and that the US was losing, he did everything to get out.
He succeeded, but with the Paris Accords, it was not just the United States that pulled out of the war, which only ended in 1975 with the North Vietnamese and communist alliance taking Saigon.
The agreement included the following points: Respect for the basic rights of the Vietnamese people. self-determination for the South Vietnamese people; cessation of US military activity; Withdrawal of all US military forces. the peaceful unification of Vietnam; American commitment to the reconstruction of North Vietnam.
Kissinger knew how it would turn out, that the communist victory had only been postponed, and in fact said he had only been given an “appropriate amount of time” between the armistice and what would have been, for him, the inevitable collapse of South Vietnam. He asked how long Saigon replied: “If we are lucky for a year and a half.” More or less, the armistice was immediately violated, and without the support of the United States, the conflict easily went in favor of the North Vietnamese.
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