Nguyen Co Thach; Vietnam Peace Negotiator
Nguyen Co Thach, 75, Vietnam’s foreign minister during 11 years of postwar isolation. A career diplomat fluent in English and French, Thach gained prominence as a member of North Vietnam’s negotiating team during the Paris peace talks, which led to a U.S. agreement to pull troops out of South Vietnam in 1973. The war ended in North Vietnam’s victory two years later. During his tenure as foreign minister from 1980 to 1991, Thach worked diligently but unsuccessfully to establish diplomatic relations with the United States. He was ousted from office at a Communist Party congress in 1991, four years before ties with Washington were established. On Friday in Hanoi.