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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“Not Without Aid:” Breaking Holbrooke’s Diplomatic Heart

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The Woodcock Commission to Hanoi leads to negotiations in Paris lead by Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke. Amb. Quinn recalls how in one dramatic moment Holbrooke urges his North Vietnamese counterpart to put aside all of the issues, including their demand for reparations, and join with him in announcing the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this dramatic moment, with absolute silence in the room, after a long pause the Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister replies “not without aid.” With that one sentence, the North Vietnamese emissary had eliminated the opportunity for a significant breakthrough and “broken Holbrooke’s diplomatic heart.”

© 2021 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.