Paris accord remembered

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Nguyen Thi Binh (L), former foreign minister and head of the revolutionary delegation representing the Republic of South Vietnam at the Paris peace talks, chats with Ha Dang, the delegation's spokesman, at the opening of an exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords in Hanoi January 23. The accord led to the end of the Vietnam War.

An exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords to end the Vietnam War is being held in Hanoi from January 23 to 28.

The event at 29 Trang Tien Street has pictures, minutes of the negotiations, books and other items, several of which are being publicly displayed for the first time.

Among the participants at the exhibition opening ceremony was former Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh, head of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam delegation at the Paris talks.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Nga said the exhibition was the biggest to mark an anniversary, and the items being displayed for the first time include the original copy of the accords, the stamps and name tags of the revolutionary delegates, and two pens used to sign the accords.

A book containing the signatures of more than 10,000 Cubans opposing the Vietnam War is also on display.

The accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" was signed in January 1973.

The signatories included the US, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (constituted by the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam), and a reluctant US-backed Vietnam Republic.

Following the accords, a ceasefire was declared across the country, and American prisoners of war were released.

The agreement guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vietnam and, like the Geneva Conference of 1954, called for national elections in the North and South.

The Paris Peace Accords stipulated a 60-day period for the total withdrawal of US forces.

But the liberation forces were complacent, thinking the Saigon regime would honor the agreement. Their lack of vigilance allowed the enemy to capture many areas back from them, and the Vietnam War finally ended only on April 30, 1975.

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