Abstract

Building on earlier articles published in the Journal of Cold War Studies by James G. Hershberg and Zoltán Szoke, this article discusses Romania's involvement in the attempts to negotiate a peaceful conclusion to the Vietnam War before and after the Tet Offensive. The literature concerning the Romanian channel (codenamed Packers) is negligible thus far. Part of the reason is that even though official U.S. documentation on Packers has been available for two decades, relevant Romanian documents were only recently declassified by the archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new evidence from the Romanian archives completes the picture of what was, in effect, the last U.S. chance to begin negotiations over Vietnam without compromising the initial U.S. position. The conversations between Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister George Macovescu and Vietnamese Communist leaders on the eve of the Tet Offensive offer a much more detailed inside look at Hanoi's negotiating position in December 1967–January 1968. The Romanian documents also show the crystallization of the Vietnamese position of March 1968 with regard to opening talks and the San Antonio formula.

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