World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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A Lifetime Lesson in Dealing with Foreign Diplomats

18/1/92

After Amb. Quinn’s meeting with Lê Mai, the Vice Foreign Minister of Northern Vietnam, several members of the press approached the two to talk about the joint search for the American POWs. Since Amb. Quinn didn’t have any prepared material by the State Department, Vice Foreign Minister Lê Mai decided to speak on their behalf. The interview lasted for a prolonged amount of time, and Amb. Quinn gradually grew nervous about what was being said. Once he finished, the Vice Foreign Minister explained to Amb. Quinn how thankful he was that Quinn was not there to embarrass him or his country. The Vice Foreign Minister then agreed to let Amb. Quinn and his team search prisons and camps that were previously restricted to foreigners. This lesson on dealing with foreign diplomats in a respectful manner is one that resonates with Amb. Quinn to this day.  

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