165. Message from the Government of the United States to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, New York, undated1 2

[Page 1]

MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DRV ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

1.
The U.S. side has consistently sought to end the war as rapidly as possible and on a basis just to all.
2.
It is for this reason that it accepted the accelerated schedule proposed by Special Advisor Le Duc Tho, even though it required extreme efforts and the risk of some delays caused by the reaction of allies who did not participate in the drafting process. If the United States had wanted a pretext for delay as the DRV alleges it could easily have protracted the negotiations on the details of the agreement.
3.
The United States had always made clear that it had to consult its allies before the agreement would be considered final. The U.S. has always respected the DRV's position in that regard; the DRV cannot ignore the U.S. convictions about its principles. That principled stand will also be a guarantee for the improved relations between the U.S. and the DRV which will certainly begin in the nearest future.
4.
The DRV is aware that once agreement in principle had been reached the U.S. unilaterally and without any reciprocity significantly reduced its bombing of the north.
5.
The DRV cannot be ignorant of the strenuous effort made by Dr. Kissinger in Saigon—efforts complicated by the interview given [Page 2]simultaneously by the DRV Prime Minister who alleged an agreement had already been reached while it was still being negotiated and who publicly called irrelevant the very government and leaders whose concurrence was being sought by common agreement.
6.
True to its principles and as Dr. Kissinger pointed out to Special Advisor Le Duc Tho on October 11 and to Minister Xuan Thuy on October 17, it could not guarantee acceptance of the proposed time table by Saigon. A four party agreement obviously requires the agreement of all parties.
7.
Since a discussion of the past is fruitless, the United States now feels bound by its principles to request one more meeting between Special Advisor Le Duc Tho and Dr. Kissinger in Paris on any day of the DRV's choosing during the week of October 30.
8.
At this meeting, it is necessary to discuss three sets of issues:
a.
Technical changes which do not change the substance of the agreement.
b.
Some modifications in which the Vietnamese language seems to produce a different meaning than the English text, espcially with respect to paragraph 9g.
c.
Some modifications which were always foreseen to take account of the possible necessity of a [unclear].
d.
An additional discussion of troop dispositions outside the text of the agreement to insure its workability.
e.
Efforts to make the ceasefires in Indo-China more nearly simultaneous with each other and with the coming into being of the supervisory machinery.
9.
All these changes are minor compared to what has already been surmounted and many are in practice already agreed. The U.S. side will approach these discussions with the determination that they should finally conclude the negotiations. Dr. Kissinger will be instructed to stay in Paris till this is accomplished.
10.
To show its good will, the U.S. gives the following undertakings:
a.
The U.S. declares that the text developed at the next private meeting will be final. The U.S. makes itself responsible for the fact that no additional changes will be raised. It will give this undertaking as well to the allies of the DRV.
b.

A schedule will be agreed at that meeting which, now that consultations have been completed, can be considered firm.

The U.S. will, in the meantime, stop all bombardment north of the 20th parallel.

11.
The U.S. is determined to end the war rapidly and to begin a new era in its relations with the DRV moving from hostility to [Page 4]friendship. It is up to the DRV to decide whether to use the pretext of understandable disappointments to continue a conflict which has no further objective or whether to seize this opportunity to move toward normalcy, reciprocity and cooperation.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 850, President's File-China Trip, China Exchanges, Oct 24, 1972-Dec 31, 1972. No classification marking. Kissinger handed the message to Huang Hua in New York on October 24. A handwritten note on the message reads “10/24/72.”
  2. The United States pledged to end the war “as rapidly as possible and on a basis just to all.”