Choisy-le-Roi City Shares Common Values on Peace, Solidarity with Vietnam

During the years of negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, the local government, along with the members of the French Communist Party and the people of Choisy-le-Roi city of France, gave their affection and support, both spiritually and materially, as well as accommodation for the Vietnamese delegates.
January 22, 2023 | 08:23
Participants pose for a photo in front of the square named “Paris Agreement” and a “Symbol for Peace” post were inaugurated in Choisy le Roi, a city in the southeastern suburbs of Paris. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France
Participants pose for a photo in front of the square named “Paris Agreement” and a “Symbol for Peace” post were inaugurated in Choisy le Roi, a city in the southeastern suburbs of Paris. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France

A ceremony was recently held in Choisy le Roi, a city in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, to mark 50 years since the signing of the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (January 27, 1973), VNA reported.

Choisy-le-Roi Mayor Tonino Panetta; Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang; Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and representatives of Vietnamese representations to the host country along with many officials, local French friends visited some historic sites of Paris Peace Accords negotiations.

It was a political school of the French Communist Party which was the headquarters of the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam participating in the Paris Conference on Vietnam for nearly 5 years of negotiations; the residence of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam - the house where the secret negotiations between the leaders of the Vietnamese and American delegations took place; as well as the square named "Paris Agreement", which was inaugurated in 2013 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the agreement to mark this historic event as a symbol of solidarity and friendship between Choisy-le-Roi and Vietnam and for peace.

The “Symbol for Peace” post, designed by French artist Dominique Miscault shows the special solidarity between Choisy le Roi and Hanoi as well as between France and Vietnam.

A stone stele placed at the foot of the post reads: “From 1968 to 1973, Choisy le Roi welcomed the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to the Paris conference to negotiate and sign the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam on January 27, 1973. It was an honour for Choisy le Roi to contribute to peace”.

Choisy-le-Roi Mayor Tonino Panetta delivers his speech at the city hall. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France
Choisy-le-Roi Mayor Tonino Panetta delivers his speech at the city hall. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France

In his speech, Mayor Panetta reviewed the historical context that had turned his city into the place for hosting the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, as well as secret talks between Special Advisor to the delegation Le Duc Tho and US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Since then, relations between Choisy-le-Roi and Vietnam have remained particularly strong as seen in the French city’s twin relationship with Dong Da district of Hanoi and many cultural exchanges between the two sides, he said.

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang affirmed that Vietnam always highly values the role of Choisy-le-Roi, which shares the common values on peace and solidarity with the Southeast Asian nation.

He expressed his delight at the solidarity and friendship maintained between the two countries, including between Val-de-Marne and Vietnamese localities, especially Choisy-le-Roi and Dong Da, that has become a role model for decentralised cooperation.

The diplomat said he hopes the two sides will uphold this tradition in the time ahead so as to preserve the friendship and solidarity among future generations.

Participants pose for a photo in front of House No 11 on Darthé street, which accommodated secret meetings between Special Advisor to the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Le Duc Tho and US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Participants pose for a photo in front of House No 11 on Darthé street, which accommodated secret meetings between Special Advisor to the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Le Duc Tho and US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France

Prior to the ceremony, participants had visited the places associated with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords 50 years ago.

Panetta told VNA that the signing of the Paris Peace Accords was significant to both Vietnam and the US, as well as Choisy-le-Roi since the reception of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam’s Government in the city helped promote the negotiations.

Later on January 19, participants watched a documentary film by Daniel Roussel that focused on secret talks, which were stressful battles of mind, from 1968 to 1973 between Special Advisor to the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Le Duc Tho and US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Visiting the political school of the French Communist Party named after General Secretary Maurice Thorez which was the headquarters of the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam participating in the Paris Conference on Vietnam for nearly 5 years of negotiations. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France
Visiting the political school of the French Communist Party named after General Secretary Maurice Thorez which was the headquarters of the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam participating in the Paris Conference on Vietnam for nearly 5 years of negotiations. Photo: Vietnam's embassy in France

To reach the Paris Peace Accords, nearly 250 open and secret meetings took place from March 1968 to January 1973, making this the longest diplomatic negotiation of Vietnam and the world in the 20th century. More than 40 secret sessions were held in Choisy-le-Roi, Gif-sur-Yvette, and Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche cities in the suburbs of Paris.

Roussel said that he admired the burning desire for peace, the will to fight to protect the independence and freedom of the Vietnamese people as well as the determination to realise the dream of peace through negotiating efforts.

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