Prime Minister Hun Sen and members from Asian political parties gathered in Phnom Penh yesterday to sign the Phnom Penh Accord, which called for rejection of “extremist politics,” strengthening the Asian middle class and synthesis of the “best elements” of capitalism and socialism.
The three-page statement came at the end of a gathering of some 50 representatives of political parties, businesses and NGOs who traveled from at least 15 countries to participate in the one-day meeting of the Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International.
Among the signatories were Mr Hun Sen, Cabinet Minister Sok An and Funcinpec President Keo Puth Reaksmey, but no member of the opposition SRP inked the accord. Some notable foreign signatories included Yusuf Kalla, the former vice president of Indonesia, and Mushahid Hussain Syed, secretary-general of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q.
Mr Syed, citing the flow of Afghan refugees into his country, called on CAPDI to “play a key role in promoting peace in Afghanistan,” according to a statement, although it was not clear how this organization would do this.
Mr Hun Sen, in remarks after the signing ceremony, said Cambodia would like to take a greater role in negotiating solutions to conflicts across the region.
“A few weeks in the past, we sent deminers to Lebanon, but we haven’t participated in negotiations to solve problems peacefully, and we really want to participate with CAPDI members to solve problems in any countries as well as in the region,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Ahead of yesterday’s meeting, Mr Hun Sen met with former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and a representative from North Korea’s Workers’ Party of Korea, both of whom were in town for this week’s separate but overlapping International Conference of Asian Political Parties, according to Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to Mr Hun Sen.
Mr Hun Sen told Ms Megawati that direct flights between Indonesia and Cambodia would help tourism, while he told the North Korean official that Cambodia would continue its cooperation with the country, according to Mr Sophalleth.