177. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Laos 1

885. Embtel 1612.2 We welcome Souvanna’s prompt action to name representatives for low-level tripartite talks, which we hope will lead to renewed top-level talks in Laos. If such talks eventuate, they would provide the neutralist and rightist elements a new opportunity to press for full implementation of the 1962 Accords.3 Whether or not the Pathet Lao proved less intransigent than in the past, we would have a further opportunity to build a record on our side that all we want is assured compliance with solemn agreements already reached. This record could be important for the communists and for those non-communist countries which are confused about the real issues. In speaking to Souvanna along these lines, you may wish to recall for him the Secretary’s letter of November 30 (Deptel 489).4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 LAOS. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Trueheart and Barbis and approved by Green and Ball. Repeated to Tehran for Rusk (who was attending the CENTO meeting), Bangkok, London, Paris, Saigon, and Moscow.
  2. In telegram 1612 from Vientiane, April 6, the Embassy reported that on April 3 the Pathet Lao representative in Vientiane transmitted a March 25 letter from Souphanouvong to Souvanna proposing a meeting of representatives of the three factions to discuss a site for the next tripartite meeting. (Ibid.)
  3. In Secto 8 from Tehran, April 6, Rusk told Ball that he thought the Department of State should urge Souvanna to be constructive in these preliminary talks. Rusk thought the meeting would provide an opportunity for building a record of insistence on compliance with already signed agreements of 1962. Rusk thought such an approach would dispell international confusion on U.S. policy toward Laos. (Ibid.)
  4. See footnote 2, Document 146.