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KPNLF calls for action on ‘lost’ land

A KHMER nationalist group has called for the joint administration of former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam in advance of King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s unofficial visit to Hanoi this week.

In a statement issued Monday, Son Soubert, vice president of the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF), said Sihanouk’s visit could usher in “a new era of frank cooperation” between the two countries.

He also added that “co-management” of Kampuchea Krom – the former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam – would be a “unique” opportunity to improve bilateral relations.

“A formula of co-management of Kampuchea Krom, ex-French Cochinchina, known also as the Mekong Delta, by the Kingdom of Cambodia and Vietnam will inaugurate a new era of peace and prosperity in the framework of the construction of ASEAN,” the statement reads.

It notes that such co-management exists in the Pyrenees region of France, where the principality of Andorra has been under joint French-Spanish sovereignty since the 17th century.

The KPNLF was one of three antigovernment resistance groups to join in the decade-long civil war against the Phnom Penh government during the 1980s.

Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodian People’s Party, dismissed concerns about Vietnamese border demarcation, saying it is being carried out smoothly.

Sihanouk said in a statement last week that his visit to Hanoi, set to begin Tuesday and to last for two or three days, is of a strictly personal and “non-diplomatic” nature.

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