Hun Sen, Prince Ranariddh Agree to Meet

Prime Minister Hun Sen will meet with Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh at the prince’s house in Kandal province this afternoon, in a bid to accelerate formation of a new government and National Assem­bly, a CPP spokesman said Tues­day.

Hun Sen and the prince will discuss the remaining five points of a 73-point policy platform for their new coalition government, including the creation of an immigration ministry, judicial reforms and border issues, Khieu Kanharith said.

“Maybe if they have time, they will talk about power-sharing,” Khieu Kanharith said.

Prince Ranariddh said Tuesday he was optimistic about the up­coming meeting, saying Hun Sen had already agreed that Funcin­pec could retain control of the health and education ministries.

“The two ministries of Funcin­pec will push forward for free public health and students’ studies,” he told reporters at an Inter­na­tional Children’s Day ceremony in Phnom Penh. “I believe Hun Sen and I will solve the issues for the motherland,” he said.

Earlier this week, the prince said he hoped that a new Assem­bly could begin functioning within weeks. The Assembly held its last working session a year ago.

CPP and Funcinpec officials will begin their next phase of talks on Thursday, aiming to draft protocols on how the new government will implement the policy platform, according to statements from the two parties issued Sunday.

Prince Ranariddh told report­ers Tuesday that the two sides would hold 15 days of continual negotiations, after which he and Hun Sen would resolve any remaining disputes.

On Sunday, King Norodom Sihanouk wrote a letter expressing frustration over the 10-month long political deadlock, which he said “makes us lose honor and reputation and [makes us] ext­remely ashamed on the international stage.”

(Additional reporting by Kim Chan)


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