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Suspension of aid and cultural exchange with Vietnam



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Mo. ^ Date 24 JANUARY 1979

STATEMENT BY THE R T . HON. IAN SINCLAIR, ACTING MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS. ...... ..........

The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ian Sinclair, said

today the Government's decision to suspend aid and cultural

exchanges with Vietnam was based on the concern Australia had for

the breach of Kampuchea's territorial integrity and for the

Vietnamese refugee policy.

The suspension of aid was intended to demonstrate the depth of

Australia's concern at the policies pursued by the Vietnam Government,

he said.

"Prior to the decision being taken consultations were had with

the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is at present in Geneva, and

whose views were reported to Cabinet, and with the Department of

Foreign Affairs.

"The Secretary of the Department and the Director of the Australian

Development Assistance Bureau were also directly consulted and

outlined the options to Cabinet.

"It was felt that Vietnamese students who had not yet completed

their courses in Australia under various training programmes should

be permitted to do so.

"This will mean that a number who returned to Vietnam during the

Christmas vacation will return to Australia to complete their

courses in 1979.

"It is also intended that cultural exchanges be suspended.

"In international forums Australia will also express its concern

at the attitude taken by the Government of Vietnam."