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King tells Post he will return soon

King tells Post he will return soon

King Norodom Sihanouk has announced his intention to return to the country in mid-July-ahead

of the ballot-and host a pre-election dinner for political leaders and election administrators.

A royal source said he would likely return on July 14.

In a July 2 letter to the Post, the King promised to return to his homeland from

July until December. He wrote that he would then likely go back to Beijing for further

medical treatment.

He told of his plans on his return: "On Thursday 24 July 2003, the Queen and

I will offer at the Royal Palace a 'family' dinner in honor of the presidents of

the NEC and the political parties participating in the general election of 27 July

2003 and their respective wives or husbands.

"Every one of these presidents will be able to represent themselves at the royal

dinner ... But my wife and I will not speak about 'politics' during the whole meeting

with these distinguished gentlemen and ladies.

"We will listen to music and singing by our young artists."

He also stated that his presence would not act "as any intervention in the affairs

of the NEC, the political parties" or the government. He ended his letter with

the hope that the "very important elections" would be peaceful, free and

fair.

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