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Seminar highlights significance of Paris peace accord

Nhan Dan - The signing of the Paris Peace Treaty 35 years ago ended “the longest, most complicated and most glorious negotiations in Vietnam’s history,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at a seminar held in Hanoi to mark 35th anniversary of the event (January 27, 1973 - January 27, 2008).
The seminar attracted the participation of former senior diplomats, scholars and history researchers, reviewing the significance of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords 35 years ago and lessons drawn from the event. Among the delegates was Nguyen Thi Binh, former State Vice President and former Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, who signed the agreement.
Deputy FM Minh said at the seminar that the treaty marked a huge leap in the revolutionary diplomacy of the Ho Chi Minh era and put an end to the longest and toughest negotiations Vietnam had taken part in, marking it as the most glorious victory in the history of the Vietnamese diplomacy.
“The treaty has left behind an invaluable lesson of remaining independent and self-reliant in dealing with foreign affairs as well as tactically combining military with diplomatic operations,” Minh said.
He said the 1973 Paris conference was a long but glorious battle of wits for the Vietnamese diplomats who, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, succeeded in creating a change in Vietnam’s military tactics of both “fighting” and “negotiating” at the same time, leading to the complete victory of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign and national reunification in 1975.
Deputy FM Minh said that the agreement was a combined victory of the fight on the military, political and diplomatic fronts, forcing the US to stop bombing the north and turning the tide on the battlefield helping Vietnam to defeat the Saigon puppet regime.
Mr Minh affirmed that the Paris Peace Accords marked the enormous growth of Vietnamese diplomacy during the Ho Chi Minh era and offered valuable lessons. He said that there are lessons about maintaining independence and self-reliance in tackling diplomatic affairs, creating and seizing the opportunity, and providing mutual supporting during the military and diplomatic struggles. But above all, he said, it was the lesson about the clear-sighted and firm leadership of the Party and the creative application of Ho Chi Minh Thought on diplomacy.
Dr Duong Van Quang, Director of the Institute for International Relations, noted that the passage of time will increase the values of these lessons. They will remain unchanged in the minds of Vietnamese diplomats who persist in a foreign policy of diversifying and multilateralising external relations in the current period of international integration.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Binh, chief negotiator of the then Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, attributed the success of the Paris Conference to the combination of State-to-State diplomacy and people-to-people diplomacy.
“People-to-people diplomacy was considered a sharp tool for us to make full use of the worldwide support for our struggle,” she said, adding that.“it influenced the American public to force its government to reconsider its war against Vietnam.”
The seminar also heard international researches on the Paris Peace Treaty. All the presentations at the workshop highlighted the Party’s leadership, the worldwide support and Ho Chi Minh wisdom during the negotiation process.
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