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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand, Japan Fail in Final Attempt to Sway Khmer Rouge

Thailand, Japan Fail in Final Attempt to Sway Khmer Rouge

Thailand, Japan Fail in Final Attempt to Sway Khmer Rouge

The Khmer Rouge to cooperate with the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Cambodia.

"We had a long talk but without any conclusive conclusion," said Saroj

Chanaviraj, Thailand's deputy permanent secretary for foreign affairs. "There

will be no more meetings."

The two countries had been trying since August to negotiate a compromise with the

powerful guerilla group.

"I think we have exhausted our efforts," Saroj said. He insisted he was

not disappointed at the Khmer Rouge's refusal to agree to comply, saying he believed

there was still time for the guerillas to change their minds.

"As long as there is hope, we will cling to it," he told reporters.

The foreign ministers of France and Indonesia now will take over negotiations with

the Khmer Rouge in hopes of prodding the group back into the peace process.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is to report to the Security Council

by Nov. 15 on the outcome of the negotiations and recommend further action.

The Khmer Rouge has been refusing since June to cooperate with the peacekeeping operation

unless it is given more governing power. The demand has been rejected because it

was not included in the peace accord that authorized the U.N. operation.

The deadlock is threatening to unravel the $2 billion, 22,000-member U.N. peacekeeping

operation, assigned to stabilize the country for elections by May.

Saroj led Thai efforts to break the deadlock, while Japan's efforts were headed by

Tadashi Ikeda, director of his country's Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau. The envoys

to Cambodia of both countries also attended the 2 1/2-hour meeting, along with the

ambassadors of France and Indonesia and representatives of the U.N. operation.

Khmer Rouge President Khieu Samphan and two of the guerilla group's senior officials

quickly ducked into their cars after the meeting and sped off without a word.

It appeared the Khmer Rouge knew beforehand that the talks would fail. Immediately

afterward, a news release noting their failure was available at the guerilla group's

office.

The statement reiterated the group's demands. It also repeated accusations that the

U.N. peacekeepers had refused to accept the Khmer Rouge's proposals because the officials

favored the government faction and therefore did not want to grant the guerrilla

group more power over the Phnom Penh administration.

It contended that only if the Khmer Rouge conditions were met "can national

reconciliation be created and developed, a neutral political environment be established

in Cambodia, and therefore free and fair general elections can be organized and held."

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution on Oct. 13 saying elections would

be held by May regardless of whether the Khmer Rouge took part.

The resolution also endorsed two last-ditch efforts to resolve the deadlock: the

Oct. 29 meeting of Thai, Japanese and Khmer Rouge representatives, and if that failed,

a later meeting of the foreign ministers of France and Indonesia.

It had been widely forecast that the Thai-Japanese talks would fail.

Head of State Prince Norodom Sihanouk had criticized them because they were being

held without the participation of the backs of Cambodia's three other factions.

(AP)-Thailand and Japan failed Oct. 29 in their last-ditch

effort to persuade the Khmer Rouge to cooperate with the U.N. peacekeeping operation

in Cambodia.

"We had a long talk but without any conclusive conclusion," said Saroj

Chanaviraj, Thailand's deputy permanent secretary for foreign affairs. "There

will be no more meetings."

The two countries had been trying since August to negotiate a compromise with the

powerful guerrilla group.

"I think we have exhausted our efforts," Saroj said. He insisted he was

not disappointed at the Khmer Rouge's refusal to agree to comply, saying he believed

there was still time for the guerrillas to change their minds.

"As long as there is hope, we will cling to it," he told reporters.

The foreign ministers of France and Indonesia will now take over negotiations with

the Khmer Rouge at new talks in Beijing, but the prospects for a solution look dim.

Diplomats and U.N. sources say senior Chinese leaders are angry at Prince Sihaouk

for setting up the meetings in Beijing without consulting them, and may not officially

host the talks.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is to report to the Security Council

by Nov. 15 on the outcome of the negotiations and recommend further action-expected

to be sanctions imposed on the Khmer Rouge by the end of December.

The Khmer Rouge has refused since June to cooperate with the peacekeeping operation

unless the Supreme National Council (SNC)-the quadripartite body including the guerrilla

group-is given more governing power and the United Nations verifies the withdrawal

of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia.

The deadlock is threatening to unravel the $2 billion, 22,000-member U.N. peacekeeping

operation, assigned to stabilize the country for elections by May.

Saroj led Thai efforts to break the deadlock, while Japan's efforts were headed by

Tadashi Ikeda, director of his country's Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau. The envoys

to Cambodia of both countries also attended the 2 1/2-hour meeting, along with the

ambassadors of France and Indonesia and representatives of the U.N. operation.

Khmer Rouge President Khieu Samphan and two of the guerrilla group's senior officials

quickly ducked into their cars after the meeting and sped off without a word.

It appeared the Khmer Rouge knew beforehand that the talks would fail. Immediately

afterward, a news release noting their failure was available at the guerrilla group's

office.

The statement reiterated the group's demands. It also repeated accusations that the

U.N. peacekeepers had refused to accept the Khmer Rouge's proposals because the officials

favored the Phnom Penh regime and therefore did not want to grant the guerrilla group

more power over the SNC.

It contended that only if the Khmer Rouge conditions were met "can national

reconciliation be created and developed, a neutral political environment be established

in Cambodia, and therefore free and fair general elections can be organized and held."

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution on Oct. 13 saying elections would

be held by May regardless of whether the Khmer Rouge took part.

It had been widely forecast that the Thai-Japanese talks would fail.

Head of State Prince Norodom Sihanouk had criticized them because they were being

held without the participation of Cambodia's other three factions.

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