Cambodian Peace Talks End with Reports of Progress
KENNETH L. WHITING
May. 03, 1989
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Peace talks involving three of Cambodia's four factions ended Wednesday with glowing reports of progress and plans for more negotiations.
''We have made tremendous progress. We achieved concrete results,'' said Prince Norodom Sihanouk, former ruler of Cambodia and leader of the three- party resistance coalition.
''I symbolize Cambodia,'' he said. All four factions want the prince to return as head of state.
The Khmer Rouge, which has the strongest army in the coalition, did not attend the Jakarta meeting, the third in 10 months. Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in December 1979 deposed the Khmer Rouge, which killed hundreds of thousands of people during its reign from 1975. The three other factions oppose its return to power. Hun Sen, premier of the Vietnam-sponsored government in Phnom Penh, spoke on Wednesday of ''quite big progress'' and the promise of more to come.
A Khmer Rouge radio broadcast said it rejected conciliatory moves by Hun Sen's government as merely an effort to legitimize itself.
Sihanouk said: ''The Khmer Rouge will reject everything because they are interested in the continuation of the war.'' He quoted Hun Sen as saying, ''Let the Khmer Rouge stay in the jungle.''
Even the more sober assessment of former premier Son Sann, leader of the third guerrilla group, acknowledged points of agreement at the Jakarta meeting. He issued a statement saying a compromise was expected to resolve ''the external aspect'' of the conflict that began with the invasion.
Vietnam has pledged to withdraw all its military forces from Cambodia by Sept. 30.
Sihanouk said he would decide whether to return as head of state after complete withdrawal of Vietnamese forces was confirmed and the constitution was amended to guarantee a multi-party political system.
''I think my demands will be met,'' he said.
U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and Ali Alatas, foreign minister of Indonesia, have been asked to devise an international control plan and prepare a conference to consider it, Son Sann said. The conference is scheduled for July 24-25 in Paris.
Son Sann told reporters participants in the conference should include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Japan, Australia, the four factions, Laos, Vietnam and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.
The five permanent Security Council members are the United States, Soviet Union, China, Britain and France.
An international control plan is intended to keep the peace between the Vietnamese withdrawal and elections. It probably will include representative s of two Western nations, two communist countries and two from the group professing non-alignment.
Sihanouk and Son Sann, who lead non-communist resistance groups, had demanded a U.N. peacekeeping force but agreed to compromise.
In return, Hun Sen had his National Assembly change the country's name from People's Republic of Kampuchea to the State of Cambodia and promised several constitutional and other changes.
Son Sann and Sihanouk were not content with the changes, however, and Son Sann's statement said: ''We agree to disagree on the internal aspect.''
He accused Hun Sen of wanting to take the two non-communist factions into his party and freeze out the communist Khmer Rouge in hopes of getting the recognition at the conference that has been withheld by the United Nations. The resistance coalition holds Cambodia's seat in the U.N. General Assembly.
The guerrilla factions want a four-party coalition during the interim from Vietnamese withdrawal to elections.