NEW DELHI, Jan 23, Reuter: Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach said on Monday he saw India playing a role in growing diplomatic moves to bring peace to Kampuchea.

Speaking at a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi for visiting Vietnamese leader Nguyen Van Linh, Thach said India had always played a positive part in Indochina.

“India has a good role to play. In the last 40 years India has done a lot of good work,” he said.

Thach, who accompanied Linh to India, would not be drawn on prospects for a settlement of the conflict in Kampuchea.

Vietnamese troops have been in the country since Vietnam invaded in 1978 to oust the Khmer rouge government.

India, the only major noncommunist country to recognize the Hanoi backed government in Kampuchea, has in the past tried to mediate in Indochina.

It now expects Linh to try to enlist Indian help in staffing a proposed international control group to oversee Kampuchea’s transition to a democratic government.

Vietnam has said it is ready to withdraw its 50,000 troops in the country by September if there is a political settlement.

“I think they will certainly talk about Indian involvement in the control group.” said an Indian external affairs ministry source. “They have been talking about it at various levels already.

Linh’s six day official visit is his first to a noncommunist country since he took over as General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist party two years ago.

It coincides with accelerating efforts to reach a settlement between Vietnam, the Hanoi backed government in Phnom Penh and a three-party guerrilla coalition.

The 73yearold leader, who has recently rumored by diplomats in Hanoi to be seriously ill, appeared fit as he reviewed an Indian guard of honor in front of New Delhi’s presidential palace.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 27, 1989