ASEAN halts Cambodia mediation
Coup leader Hun Sen rejects peace plan
July 19, 1997
Web posted at: 12:43 p.m. EDT (1643 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- Mediators of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) stopped their peace efforts in Cambodia on Saturday after Co-Premier Hun Sen flatly rejected the group's peace plan.
Speaking after almost two hours of talks in Phnom Penh, the
Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said that "at our
meeting with Hun Sen, we were given quite a clear indication
that (he) believes that ASEAN at this stage should not
contribute to finding a solution."
"ASEAN will only assist in trying to contribute if all sides
want that. This is why as of this moment, our efforts stop
and we will return and report to the ASEAN foreign
ministers," Alatas told reporters at the end of the shuttle
mission by delegates from Indonesia, the Philippines and
The ASEAN proposal called for an end to fighting, installing
a caretaker government to prepare for new elections, and that
Hun Sen share power until the elections took place.
Alatas said both the ousted Co-Prime Minister Prince
and Cambodia's monarch, King Norodom Sihanouk, were in favor of the ASEAN plan.
Hun Sen, who overthrew Ranariddh during street battles in the
capital earlier this month, dismissed international mediation
efforts on Friday, and told the international community,
including ASEAN, not to interfere in Cambodia's internal
ASEAN, which groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, has postponed
Cambodia's entry into the group indefinitely in response to
On Saturday, Ranariddh again lashed out at Hun Sen.
"In rejecting ASEAN mediation, I think Hun Sen is now
isolating Cambodia by himself," Ranariddh told a news
conference in Bangkok. "Now I'm really afraid we will have
again a civil war in my country. ... From now on democracy is
finished; it is ended in Cambodia."
The United States has launched a separate diplomatic effort
to end the crisis. Envoy Steve Solarz is expected to tell Hun
Sen that his takeover is considered illegal and intolerable.
But observers say the envoy is likely to face a stone wall
when he meets Hun Sen in Phnom Penh next week.
Hun Sen's formerly communist Cambodia's People's Party and
Ranariddh's royalist FUNCINPEC party shared power in an
uneasy coalition government from 1993 until the ouster
earlier this month.
Both sides accused each other of trying to win the support of
leaders of the notorious Khmer Rouge movement in order to
bolster their own political standing.
Since the coup, Hun Sen has reportedly been consolidating
power by rounding up and, in some cases, executing opponents.
Some of the leading FUNCINPEC members fled to Thailand, while
Ranariddh's forces have been cornered in the jungles of
northern Cambodia near the Thai frontier.
Correspondent Tom Mintier and Reuters contributed to this report.
- Cambodia's Ranariddh to accept ASEAN peace proposal - July 18, 1997
- Cambodia's Hun Sen dismisses international criticism - July 17, 1997
- Cambodian strongman lashes out at Asian trade group - July 14, 1997
- Deposed Cambodian asks U.N. to shun 'illegal' government - July 10, 1997
- Hun Sen claims no coup in Cambodia - July 10, 1997
- Cambodian coup regime hunts down opponents - July 9, 1997
- Battle for Cambodia shifts northward - July 8, 1997
- Hun Sen in control of Cambodian capital - July 7, 1997
- Second premier's troops tighten grip on Cambodian capital - July 6, 1997
- Fighting intensifies between Cambodian rivals - July 5, 1997
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