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King attends Mitterand wake

King attends Mitterand wake

KING Norodom Sihanouk left Tuesday for France to attend the funeral of former president

Francois Mitterand.

The King had planned to leave Phnom Penh on January 21 for medical treatment in China

but later said he would be changing his plans to pay his respects to Mitterand.

Mitterand, who left office less than eight months ago, died in Paris on January 8

after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Sihanouk is expected to make a state visit to France in April. Mitterand last visited

Phnom Penh and the ancient Angkor temples during an official trip in February 1993.

The King sent a letter of condolences to Mitterand's wife Danielle, describing him

as a "great statesman for France, humanistic and concerned about social justice

and human rights."

Sihanouk acknowledged the crucial role Mitterand played in hosting the talks that

led to the October 1993 signing of the Cambodian peace accords.

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