In the early 1970s, most Americans, including many servicemen and war veterans, believed that the war in Vietnam was a mistake and that the US should negotiate for a peace agreement
Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang, a senior expert about Vietnam at the US Institute of Peace told the Vietnam News Agency's resident correspondents while talking about the signing of the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (Paris Peace Accords) 50 years ago.
The expert noted that the peace negotiations among the parties for the signing of the Paris Peace Accords took more than four years to complete. During that period, thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Vietnamese were killed.
Although the Paris Peace Accords did not completely end the conflict in Indochina, its primary importance was to reduce the killing and destruction in Vietnam, he stressed.
Underlining the significance of the Paris Peace Accords, Dr. Wells-Dang said that after the war ended, the US and Vietnam agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and build cooperation in many fields, both between the two governments and between the people of the two countries. This partnership includes the US's support to overcome war aftermaths such as landmines and Agent Orange/dioxin consequences - which was mentioned in the agreement.
This year, the two countries will celebrate the 10th founding anniversary of their comprehensive partnership. According to Dr. Wells-Dang, this partnership shows that peace between the two countries is possible.
That real peace would have been possible right from 1973, but in reality the two countries came a long way to make it happen, the expert said, adding that the Paris Peace Accords was an important step towards a political solution after the war that would take 20 years or more to be fully mapped out.
Dr. Wells-Dang, who had lived in Vietnam for 20 years, is working on projects to settle war aftermaths in Vietnam and have held seminars on war heritage, thereby healing the war pains and helping the US-Vietnam relationship develop further.