Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1972

President Thieu turns down peace proposal

In Saigon, Henry Kissinger meets with South Vietnamese President Thieu to secure his approval of a proposed cease-fire that had been worked out at the secret peace talks with the North Vietnamese in Paris.

The proposal presumed a postwar role for the Viet Cong and Thieu rejected the proposed accord point for point and accused the United States of conspiring with China and the Soviet Union to undermine his regime. Kissinger, who had tentatively agreed to initial the draft in Hanoi at the end of the month, cabled President Nixon that Thieu’s terms “verge on insanity” and flew home. Meanwhile, in the countryside, with a future cease-fire under discussion, both sides in the conflict ordered their forces to seize as much territory as possible and the fighting continued. The Communists hit Bien Hoa airbase with rockets and South Vietnamese commanders in the field reported that the peace talks had no effect on military action. To support the South Vietnamese forces, U.S. B-52 bombers continued to strike Communist positions in an arc north of Saigon, while other U.S. planes flew 220 missions over North Vietnam.

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