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Some foreign powers urge negotiation

Some foreign powers urge negotiation

Calls for peaceful dialogue were the common thread yesterday among the Phnom Penh foreign embassies expected to be visited during the opposition’s three-day planned protest, slated to start tomorrow.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party plans to lead more than 20,000 supporters on a march to the UN rights office on Wednesday; the UK, US and French embassies on Thursday; and other Paris Peace Agreement signatories on Friday.

US Embassy spokesman Sean McIntosh reiterated the importance of dialogue between the two parties yesterday.

“We urge both the Cambodian People’s Party and the [CNRP] to seek resolution of electoral disputes through peaceful dialogue,” he said in an email.

Muhsinin Dolisada, first secretary at the Embassy of Indonesia, said his embassy would only be releasing a statement encouraging its citizens to remain alert and cautious.

“My ambassador has decided that we will accept the petition. We can only hope it will be conducted peacefully and non-violence will be advocated,” he said.

Japanese Embassy counselor Takayoshi Kuromiya said his embassy had “not yet decided how to deal with the situation”.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman was unsure if China would accept the petition.

Australian ambassador Alison Burrows declined to comment, while representatives from the United Kingdom, France and the UN did not respond.

The European Union delegation said the CNRP had not notified it that a petition would be delivered, adding that “at the eve of new demonstrations” both the government and the opposition shared the responsibility to “collaborate”.

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