After 34 days of discussions to select a site, the United States and North Vietnam agree to begin formal negotiations in Paris on May 10, or shortly thereafter. Hanoi disclosed that ex-Foreign Minister Xuan Thuy would head the North Vietnamese delegation at the talks. Ambassador W. Averell Harriman was named as his U.S. counterpart. The start of negotiations brought a flurry of hope that the war might be settled quickly. Instead, the talks rapidly degenerated into a dreary ritual of weekly sessions, during which both sides repeated long-standing positions without seeming to come close to any agreement.