DELAYING tactics by Vietnam yesterday stymied progress in reaching agreement on large-scale repatriation of the 22,300 Vietnamese boat people languishing in Hong Kong detention centres. After two solid sessions of talks, frustrated delegates emerged from the meeting room with little positive information on how close they were to drafting a final statement defining the plan for the final months of the agreement governing the return and resettlement of boat people in the region. It is understood that the underlying difficulty facing the meeting was that Vietnam, Britain, the United States and Malaysia were deadlocked over the wording of key paragraphs in the final statement relating to upgrading repatriation. Vietnam is believed to have agreed to simplify its vetting procedures for potential returnees but how far it has moved was not clear. Chairman of the meeting, Werner Blatter of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said he hoped agreement could be reached in the third session, which was due to be held late last night. The delegates broke from their talks at sunset to allow those from Muslim countries to break fast during what is the last week of Ramadan. Vietnamese delegate Nguyen Van Nhat said Hanoi was committed to accepting back all boat people left in Hong Kong under the voluntary or orderly repatriation programme. However, he would not accept that many people already deported had been forced back, and in some cases carried onto the flights. 'We are committed to the voluntary and orderly programmes but we will not accept anyone back who has been forced to return to Vietnam,' Mr Nguyen said. The British side, on which Hong Kong's Refugee Co-ordinator Brian Bresnihan sits, appeared to be frustrated. Britain raised concerns that it had not received clearance to return more than 6,000 names it submitted to Hanoi more than a year ago. It is understood that the issue of Vietnam refusing to take back people it did not consider to be non-nationals had not even been raised. The non-nationals issue has been a hot potato in Hong Kong after more than 100 were released from detention late last year after Hong Kong acknowledged in the face of court action that their continued detention would have been illegal. China has made clear that it wanted all boat people detained repatriated by the end of the year. Yesterday's meeting was spent hammering out a timeframe. Meanwhile, Vietnam's chief delegate Bui Dinh Dinh denied that his Government was holding out for financial incentives. Hanoi recently agreed to take back 40,000 from Germany in exchange for a massive financial aid programmes. The Kuala Lumpur meeting is to prepare for a full meeting of the Comprehensive Plan of Action Steering Committee in Geneva next month which will ratify the plan for winding up the Vietnamese programme in the region. About 40,000 boat people remain in camps throughout the region.