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Joint Statement Following Discussions in Honolulu With the Chief of State and the Prime Minister of Vietnam.

February 08, 1966

1. THE PRESIDENT of the United States and the Chief of State and Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam have concluded 3 days of the most intense and friendly discussion, and their fundamental concord of purpose and policy is stated in the Declaration of Honolulu which they are issuing together today. In addition there has been opportunity for extended review of many urgent specific questions, both at the level of the Chiefs of Government and at the level of Cabinet Ministers. The results of this immediate discussion are reported in the remaining paragraphs of this communiqué.

2. The leaders of the two Governments, with their advisers, reviewed the intense efforts for peace undertaken by the Government of the United States between Christmas and the end of January. Both Governments noted with regret the total absence of a present interest in peace on the part of the Government of North Vietnam. They reviewed the present diplomatic situation in the United Nations and elsewhere, and they agreed upon continued diplomatic efforts for peace.

3. The economic advisers of the two Governments had a thorough discussion of their cooperative programs for maintaining economic stability and controlling the cost of living in a war-torn country. On the basis of their reports, the President and the Chief of State and Prime Minister have agreed that their two Governments will take further concrete steps to combat inflation in Vietnam.

4. The leaders of the two Governments received comprehensive reports on the intensified program of rural construction. The Government of Vietnam set forth a plan for efforts of particular strength and intensity in areas of high priority, and the President gave directions to ensure full and prompt support by all agencies of the United States Government.

5. In the construction program three particular points were agreed on as essential for rapid progress:

(1) Continued emphasis by both Vietnamese and Allied forces on the effort to build democracy in the rural areas--an effort as important as the military battle itself.

(2) Continued emphasis on the design of rural construction work to meet the people's needs for larger output, more efficient production, improved credit, handicrafts and light industry, and rural electrification.

(3) Concentration of resources--both Vietnamese and American--in selected priority areas which are properly related to military plans so that the work of rural construction can be protected against disruption by the enemy.

6. Cabinet members of both Governments had thorough discussions of special needs of the people of South Vietnam in the fields of agriculture, health, and education. In agriculture it was agreed that special effort would be made to move agricultural know-how--particularly new species of highly productive rice and corn and vegetable seed--from the experimental station to the farmer in the fields. Steps for more rapid land reform were carefully reviewed. It was agreed that Secretary of Agriculture Freeman and a team of agricultural experts would proceed at once to Vietnam for the purpose of developing enlarged programs of agricultural cooperation.

7. It was also agreed that programs in health and education would be intensified. The president pledged that he would soon dispatch teams of experts in those fields to Vietnam under the direction of Secretary Gardner. Both Governments agreed to make increased efforts in the training of health personnel, in providing teams for medical care, and creating a stronger medical logistics system. They also agreed to strengthen their cooperation in building elementary schools, in training teachers, in reinforcing vocational and technical education, and in supplying textbooks.

8. It was agreed that the refugees who have of their own free will come over from the enemy side must be adequately cared for and prepared to resume a useful role in society. The Government of Vietnam described its plans to meet this problem and the President assured them of full American support. It was agreed that a special effort will be made to provide good schools for refugee children.

9. There was a full discussion of the military situation and of military plans and programs. The leaders of the two Governments reached full agreement upon a policy of growing military effectiveness and of still closer cooperation between the military forces of Vietnam and those of the United States. They reaffirmed their determination to act with all possible regard for the rights of innocent civilians, to adhere to the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of prisoners of war, and to act with full respect for the independence and territorial integrity of neighboring countries which wish to live in peace.

10. Finally, it was agreed that the leaders of the two Governments will have further meetings like this one in the future for the continued execution of the policies and purposes of the Declaration of Honolulu.

Note: The joint statement was released at Honolulu, Hawaii.
See also Items 53, 55, 56.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Joint Statement Following Discussions in Honolulu With the Chief of State and the Prime Minister of Vietnam. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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