Diplomats Urge F’pec-CPP Cooperation: Ranariddh

Funcinpec President Prince No­ro­dom Ranariddh claimed Thurs­day that the ambassadors of Singa­pore, France and the US have en­couraged him to continue cooperating with the CPP for the sake of Cam­bodia’s political stability.

The prince said he met with Sing­a­porean Ambassador Law­rence An­der­son and French Am­bas­sador Yv­on Roe d’Albert separately Wed­nes­day, and with US Am­bassador Jo­seph Mussomeli on Thursday.

“All the ambassadors who I met, they wanted political stability in Cam­­bodia through the continuation of the strengthening of the two par­ties’ cooperation,” Prince Ra­na­riddh said in a speech that was broad­cast on Funcinpec’s Ta Prohm radio.

“I told the three ambassadors that Funcinpec and myself intend to main­tain cooperation between the CPP and Funcinpec, and good re­lations between Hun Sen and I,” he said.

Prince Ranariddh said Mus­so­meli asked him why he had not fired royalist officials who are opposing him. “I told him I could not do that because Funcinpec hopes that as president I will unite the party,” he said. The prince said he told Ander­son: “When I wanted to shake hands, [Hun Sen] pulled his hand away and slapped my face.”

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said Mussomeli’s meeting with Prince Ranariddh was routine, and that the ambassador asked ques­tions to assess the situation. He declined further comment.

French Embassy spokeswoman Claude Abily declined to say wheth­er the French ambassador en­cour­aged Prince Ranariddh to cooperate with the CPP for the sake of stability.

“The prince told the ambassador he remained attached to the agreement of 2004,” she said, referring to the coalition government agreement between Funcinpec and the CPP. Singaporean Embassy officials could not be reached for comment.

Hun Sen’s adviser Om Yentieng said the prime minister is waiting for actions rather than words from Prince Ranariddh before their relationship can be restored. “We don’t want only words,” he said.

(Ad­ditional reporting by James Welsh)

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