King Asks PM to Reconsider VN Border Pact

King Norodom Sihanouk has urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to consider a request from the Khmer Borders Protection Org­anization not to sign a border pact with Vietnam in March.

Hun Sen announced on Dec 24 after meeting with Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An that he would sign a land border agreement with Vietnam in March.

“I have received a letter sent by the president of the Khmer Borders Protection Organization asking me to intervene about the scheduled treaty signing on the border between Cambodia and Vietnam,” the King wrote in the letter to Hun Sen, which was sent on Monday.

“I am sending the letter to the Samdech head of the government to think about [the organization’s] proposal,” King Sihan­ouk wrote.

A Royal Palace official confirmed on Thursday that the King sent the letter to the premier.

In a separate letter, the King told the organization that he has no constitutional power to intervene on the issue. “I am only able to send your recommendation to the head of the government and the National Assembly,” the King wrote.

The prime minister said last month that six border issues already had been resolved through negotiations with Viet­nam and only one issue re­mained. He did not specify what any of the disputes were.

Earlier this month, Funcinpec lawmaker Princess Norodom Vacheara, an outspoken critic on border issues, condemned the prime minister’s plan to sign the agreement, saying the matter should first be debated by the National Assembly.

In June 2001, the King asked the prime minister to look into possible border encroachments by Vietnam and Thailand after receiving a letter from the Khmer Borders Protection Organization.


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