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Ranariddh meets diplomatic corp
- Subject: Ranariddh meets diplomatic corp
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 00:04:00
IN his attempt to keep Cambodia in the
spotlight, deposed Prime Minister Prince
Norodom Ranariddh called a meeting on
Wednesday with the diplomatic corp in
Bangkok to reiterate his stance on the
future of Cambodia.
The meeting drew representatives of 19
embassies and the European Commission,
but only a few ambassadors showed up.
In a proposed political platform for a
coalition government from 1998-2000,
Ranariddh said the new coalition needs to
address basic issues to build confidence
and create an atmosphere for pacification.
These measures are the safety of political
opponents and activists, the elimination of
local militia, illegal arms and explosives,
reintegration of armed forces loyal to
Ranariddh, protection of human rights,
status of the opposition broadcast media,
and restructuring of the Cambodia National
Election Commission and Constitutional
There is also a need to address corruption,
poverty, immigration and the economic
situation, he added.
The proposal was jointly signed by him and
his opposition ally Sam Rainsy, and was
sent earlier to Cambodian leader Hun Sen.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting,
Ranariddh said he will return to Cambodia
to discuss the formation of a coalition
government only if he obtains a written
guarantee of his safety and freedom from
King Norodom Sihanouk and Hun Sen.
He reiterated that the new coalition must
have only one prime minister and the
national assembly one chairman and two
deputies. Hun Sen, whose party won the
May elections, demanded that the national
assembly have a co-chairman.
Ranariddh, whose Funcinpec party came
second, said he remains optimistic that the
government would be formed before the
Sixth Asean Summit scheduled for Dec 15
In Hanoi, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Pham Thuy Thanh said
Cambodia needs a coalition government
before it can join the Association of South
East Asian Nations (Asean).
''We always wish to see Cambodia
become the 10th member of Asean and the
realisation of the 'Asean Ten' at an early
date,'' Thanh told a briefing for foreign
''Other Asean members have shared this
view and agreed in principle that
Cambodia can join Asean after a new
coalition is formed,'' Thanh said. She gave
no more details.
But more than three months have gone
since the general election in Cambodia -- in
which none of the parties won enough seats
to form a government alone -- and the
country's rival parties have yet to agree on
Cambodia's scheduled membership of
Asean was initially blocked after premier
Hun Sen ousted his co-premier, Prince
Ranariddh, in a coup in July 1997.
Asean's nine members are Brunei,
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and