KARACHI: Simultaneous announcements in Washington, Hanoi and Saigon today [Jan 24] said that after 12 years of war, the guns will fall silent in Vietnam at midnight GMT on Saturday [Jan 27]. In Washington, President Richard Nixon, in a radio-TV broadcast to the American people, said an agreement initiated in Paris yesterday by his special assistant, Dr Henry Kissinger, and North Vietnam Politburo member, Mr Le Duc Tho, and to be signed there on Saturday, would “bring peace with honour to Vietnam and South-East Asia”.

President Nixon said that under the terms of the agreement, within 60 days of its signing, all Americans held prisoner of war in Indo-China will be released and within the same period all American Forces will be withdrawn from South Vietnam. North Vietnam will give the fullest possible accounting for all Americans who are missing in action, he said. The latest count showed 587 American prisoners were being held in Indo-China… .

He also said that the US will continue to recognise the Saigon Government as the sole legitimate government of South Vietnam and the people there “have been guaranteed the right to determine their own future without outside interference.” … President Nixon read out the text of the statement issued at that same moment … in Washington and Hanoi. — News agencies

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

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