The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Paris Peace Accords

The Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 by the governments of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the United States with the intent to stop the continued aggression betweenViet Cong guerrilla army was allowed to be treated as an independent party. The South Vietnamese government regarded the Viet Cong as agents of the Communist government of North Vietnam, and thus not a sovereign party. The North similarly viewed the Southern government as an agent of the United States, and similarly non-sovereign. Johnson thus began to negotiate unilaterally with the Northern government until he left office.

After Nixon's election, problems still continued. For many months the North and South famously debated over the shape of the table that would be used at the Paris Peace Conference. The North favored a circular table, in which all parties, including Viet Cong representatives, would appear to be equal in importance. The South argued that only a rectangular table was acceptable, for only a rectangle could show two distinct sides to the conflict, the North and South. Eventually a compromise was reached, in which representatives of the North and South government would sit at a circular table, with members representing all other parties sitting on individual square tables around them.

A treaty was finally signed on January 27, 1973. The two Vietnamese governments pledged to recognize each others' sovereignty, and end armed conflict. The United States agreed to continue its withdrawal of troops, which had started in 1969, leading to a complete withdrawal in 1975.

The treaty's terms were unpopular with many in the Southern government, who felt the sudden withdrawal of American forces would cripple the South's military strength in case the North decided to violate the cease-fire. In 1975 this proved true, and the Northern government successfully invaded and conquered the South.


  • William P. Rogers, US Secretary of State
  • Tran Van Lam , Minister for Foreign Affairs for South Vietnam
  • Nguyen Duy Trinh , Minister for Foreign Affairs for North Vietnam
  • Nguyen Thi Binh , Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Northern provisional government of Republic of Vietnam

Other key figures in the negotiations

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Last updated: 08-13-2005 23:20:28
Last updated: 08-17-2005 04:43:59