King to Hold Border Meet, Prince Says

King Norodom Sihamoni has plans to call Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh to discuss recent border tensions with Vietnam, Prince Norodom Ranariddh said on Saturday.

Prince Ranariddh, who returned to the leadership of the royalist Funcinpec party in January, told reporters after a meeting of the Cambodian Royalist Youth Movement in Phnom Penh that the palace hopes to foster national unity on the issue.

“I have heard that His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni plans to invite the leaders of the three political parties to ask for suggestions and opinions about sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Prince Ranariddh said.

“If the CPP, CNRP and Funcinpec reunite to solve this national issue, there would be more possibilities than working separately,” he said. “We are strong when the Khmer unite.”

Prince Ranariddh, who is also head of the Supreme Privy Advisory Council to the king, also told reporters he rejects the notion that royalist politics are irrelevant to Cambodia’s modern political situation, despite Funcinpec winning no National Assembly seats in the 2013 election.

The prince said there remains a lot of youth support for the Royal Palace and for Funcinpec, which he said only suffered at the 2008 and 2013 elections—when it was led by Princess Norodom Arunrasmey—because he was not its leader.

“We recently visited eight provinces, and I learned that the potentiality of royalism still remains, but we had lacked a good leader, so we have an important role [now] to collect the royalists to become national policymakers to solve national issues,” he said.

“I am now 72 years old…and if I pass away, we need to find someone to protect the royalist regime,” he added.

Both Sok Eysan, spokesman for the CPP, and Yem Ponhearith, spokesman for the CNRP, said they were unaware of the plans raised by Prince Ranariddh but that their leaders would attend any such meeting called by King Sihamoni.

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