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Ranariddh welcomes opposition merger

Ranariddh welcomes opposition merger

Prince Norodom Ranarridh on Tuesday welcomed progress towards a merger of Cambodia’s two principal opposition parties but said he remained loyal to his royalist roots and to supporting Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Ranariddh told reporters on Tuesday that he had always supported the union of the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, while acknowledging that he had no interest in such a merger himself.

He added that it was crucial for the survival of the SRP for its president, Sam Rainsy, to enter talks with Hun Sen for his return to the country.

“His Excellency Sam Rainsy has a bad habit … [of depending] on foreigners to resolve Khmer problems,” he said.

“The only person who can resolve Sam Rainsy’s problems is Hun Sen.”

Sam Rainsy has been living in self-imposed exile after being sentenced last year to 12 years in prison after uprooted demarcation posts along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.

SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said on Tuesday that it was sometimes necessary for parties from foreign countries to assist in resolving Cambodian conflicts, citing the recent hostilities between Cambodia and Thailand over a long-standing border dispute.

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