Cambodia's Ranariddh to accept ASEAN peace proposal
Hun Sen warns against international interference
July 18, 1997
Web posted at: 11:17 a.m. EDT (1517 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- Coup leader Hun Sen warned
against outside interference in Cambodia's affairs Friday as
the co-prime minister he toppled appeared to accept defeat.
whose loyalists are running low on
food, ammunition and room to retreat, has agreed to seek a
political solution to the crisis created two weeks ago when
Hun Sen, who held the title of second prime minister, ousted
Ranariddh, whose was first prime minister.
During a strategy session with exiled members of his royalist
party in Bangkok, Thailand, participants said, the prince
agreed to peace proposals endorsed by his father, King
Norodom Sihanouk, and the Association of Southeast Asian
Under the plan, fighting would cease and a caretaker
government comprising the parties of the prince and Hun Sen
would be formed until new elections can be held, said Lu
Laysreng, a steering committee member of Ranariddh's party.
Ranariddh was to meet an ASEAN delegation later in the day to
accept the proposal.
The team, consisting of the foreign ministers of Thailand,
the Philippines and Indonesia, will travel to Phnom Penh on
Saturday to present the proposals to Hun Sen.
There is no guarantee Hun Sen will accept the plan,
especially if it dilutes the absolute authority he is
establishing over the country.
"No foreigner can dictate to Hun Sen," he told 2,000 people
Friday at a Buddhist temple in Takeo, just outside Phnom
Penh. "Leave us to solve our own problems."
Hun Sen threatened to withdraw Cambodia's $1.4 million (U.S.)
membership application fee to ASEAN, which is a vital trade
link for the country.
The postponement of Cambodia's membership could cost the
desperately poor country badly needed international
Thailand Foreign Minister Prachaub Chaiyasarn told reporters
in Bangkok that ASEAN's attempt to end the political dispute
did not constitute interference in Cambodia's internal
Under the plan, Ranariddh, whom Hun Sen has threatened with
arrest if he returns to Phnom Penh, would be authorized to
nominate a member of his party to replace him as co-premier
in the caretaker government.
This would nullify Hun Sen's bid to replace Ranariddh with
Ung Huot, the foreign minister and a member of the prince's
The appointment of Ung Huot has been called illegal by
Ranariddh loyalists fleeing Hun Sen's bloody post-coup
Bangkok Bureau Chief Tom Mintier contributed to this report.
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