Cambodia's Hun Sen dismisses international criticism
July 17, 1997
Web posted at: 3:38 p.m. EDT (1938 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- Co-premier Hun Sen, who ousted
his co-leader earlier this month, dismissed diplomatic
attacks Thursday on the legitimacy of his government. He is
under strong international criticism for ousting First Prime
Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and for replacing him with
Foreign Minister Ung Huot
"The most important thing with us is whether his excellency
Ung Huot is acceptable to our people or not," Hun Sen said.
"We please our people. We can't please the Americans."
Ung Huot, a senior member of Ranariddh's FUNCINPEC party, was
chosen Wednesday by the remnants of the royalist party to
Hun Sen's party said it would back the nomination. Analysts
see the nomination as the latest move to legitimize Hun Sen's
hold on Cambodia and persuade the world that the country
remains on a democratic path.
Report: Troops agree to regional cease-fire
Also Thursday, The Associated Press reported that commanders
loyal to Hun Sen and Ranariddh agreed to a regional
cease-fire in the western town of Poipet, near the Thai
border, involving several hundred troops.
The agreement came after three days of negotiations, The
Associated Press said, and amounts to a defeat for the
prince's troops, who have been out-manned and outgunned by
Hun Sen's forces.
It was to take effect with the royalist commander, Maj. Gen.
Rai Veera, handing back weapons his troops had seized from
Hun Sen loyalists.
ASEAN seeks advice on helping end crisis
Cambodia's neighbors, anxious to avoid a conflict in the
region, sent envoys to Beijing to see Cambodia's ailing King
Norodom Sihanouk to find out how the Association of South
East Asian Nations (ASEAN) could help Cambodia through its
ASEAN envoys Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, Thai
Foreign Minister Prachuab Chaiyasarn and Philippines Foreign
Minister Domingo Siazon said after their meeting with
Sihanouk that the monarch had expressed support for ASEAN's
position but declined to give details of that position.
They will go next to Bangkok, where they will meet Ranariddh,
then to Phnom Penh, to meet with Hun Sen and his appointed
A L S O :
ASEAN current and prospective members
ASEAN decided on July 10 to postpone Cambodia's induction to
the group, an event originally scheduled to take place later
this month along with Burma and Laos.
U.S.: Co-premier selection unacceptable
The U.S. government said Ung Huot's selection is unacceptable
and announced that it would not recognize him as a Cambodian
leader because he was not chosen democratically.
"We urge the authorities to refrain from naming a co-premier
until Prince Ranariddh's political party has an opportunity
to make a reasoned decision on this matter, free of coercion,
free of intimidation," said U.S. State Department spokesman
But the royalist party, FUNCINPEC, is in shambles after
Ranariddh's flight into exile. Human Rights Watch Asia says
at least six high-ranking members of FUNCINPEC have been
assassinated, and about 200 more have been arrested.
Correspondent May LeeMay Lee and Reuters contributed to this report.
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