Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that he would bow out of discussions on the ongoing political unrest in Ukraine if the topic arose during the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan on Thursday and Friday.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony on Koh Pich island in Phnom Penh, Mr. Hun Sen predicted that discussions at the summit would focus on Ukraine rather than the South China Sea dispute or other pressing world issues, because the event is being held in Europe.
“I am very afraid of having arguments in the meeting because…it will be about Ukraine,” he said.
“Thus, we [the Cambodian delegation] will just sit and listen without saying anything, and we will just be lazy.”
But he said it might be harder to pull this off now that he has quit smoking for the 11th time.
“In the past, I would take the chance to walk out of the meeting room to smoke a cigarette, but I don’t smoke now, so I don’t know where to go,” he said.
“I will drink tea and just listen when they talk.”
In a speech to university graduates in August, the prime minister spoke at length about his views on geopolitics, focusing on the deleterious consequences after leaders are toppled in revolutions.
“What has happened in Ukraine after the former president was toppled?” he asked rhetorically.