Luu Van Loi

Luu Van Loi, a retired senior ministry of Foreign Affairs official, was 94 years old at the time this interview was conducted.  Loi, a native of the Hanoi area, was working as a junior official in the French colonial government when the Viet Minh recruited him to secretly join the “resistance” during the early 1940.  He quickly became involved in “enemy proselytizing” operations (propaganda efforts directed against French soldiers and officials).  During the war against the French in the late 1940s-early 1950s he continued to be responsible for enemy proselytizing operations as part of the Viet Minh armed forces, including publication of a newspaper and other publications directed against French military personnel.  In 1954, after the battle of Dien Bien Phu, he served as a member of the Viet Minh team that conducted negotiations with the French Army for an exchange of prisoners of war.  Loi subsequently became a member of the Vietnamese military delegation to the joint commission responsible for implementing the Geneva Agreement. He participated in the 1962 negotiations Geneva negotiations on Laos.  Following the 1962 Geneva negotiations, Loi was assigned to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, where he worked in the office of the Vietnamese Foreign Minister.  He was a member of a special secret Party committee (codenamed “CP-50”) that was responsible for research and staff support for peace negotiations with the U.S.  He was sent to Paris in September 1972 as a member of legal advisor to Le Duc Tho on the North Vietnamese delegation to the Paris peace talks.  Loi is the author of a number of books on Vietnamese diplomatic history, including the seminal work “Le Duc Tho-Kissinger Negotiations in Paris,” which is an account of the secret U.S.-North Vietnamese peace negotiations in Paris from 1969 until 1973.

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