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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sirivudh unveils foreign policies

Sirivudh unveils foreign policies

F OREIGN Minister Prince Norodom Sirivudh returned on June 9 from a tour of

European countries and a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

In a

wide-ranging press conference, Prince Sirivudh reported what he saw as a

successful trip and gave the first outline of what the Kingdom's foreign

policies are.

The Prince announced that the Danish government had

canceled a $4 million debt that the Cambodian government owed since the 1960s.

"This was a big success for us," Sirivudh said.

The FM also announced

that the European Union would sign "a political agreement with Cambodia, as soon

as possible, at the end of June."

The Prince said: "We need experts. We

need lawyers, jurists, and experts on agriculture, education and diplomacy. It

is very important for us, and the EU is ready. They are interested in

implementing projects as soon as possible in terms of human resource

development, institutional support, education, and agricultural


"The member nations of the EU also understand that we cannot

talk about development if we cannot handle de-mining operations. De-mining is

still for us, and for all of them, the member nations of the EU, a


In addition to going to France, the Prince conducted a working

visit to Germany, and went to Sweden and London.

Everywhere he went, the

FM said that he explained the policies of the Royal Government.

With the

exception of Germany, the FM also requested military assistance. He said that in

spite of the roundtable negotiations, which he called a carrot for the Khmer

Rouge, the government needed a stick.


The FM said: "Even small, the stick must be strong. When we request military

assistance, it is not to make war, but to achieve stability.

"The Royal

Government has the right as a sovereign government to request military support

from other governments.

"They asked 'what kind of contribution?' I said,

'training, infrastructure through military means, like engineers,

re-organization of our army, perhaps weapons.' "

The prince's comments

also gave first shape to Cambodia's foreign policy.

The Prince announced

the return of Cambodia to the Non-aligned movement as a monarchy. "I was the

first Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia to bring the "old-new"

Cambodian flag [to the Non-Aligned movement]. We are very proud to come back to

this great family [which includes] 109 of the184 members of the United Nations."

The FM also announced that the Kingdom of Cambodia would have diplomatic

relations with Israel and with South Africa.

But the prince re-affirmed

that there was no question of establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan or South


"Our stand is clear, the Kingdom of Cambodia recognizes only one

China, the People's Republic of China. But we are a liberal country. We welcome

all investment from all countries. If Taiwan would like to come in a private,

business way, we can talk to Taiwan in terms of economic, private


The FM indicated that the same strictures held for South

Korea, while also inviting private investors from that country.


Norodom Sihanouk has long considered North Korean leader Kim Il Sung as a close


The FM announced that he has requested Cambodia's participation

in next month's Asean conference in Bangkok, though the Kingdom is not a member.

He said: "When we talk about the forum of security in the region, I

think that Cambodia must be involved. I have made official our intention to

participate in the Asean forum on security in the region. I wait for official

confirmation, but I think that there is no problem on this."



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