Neighbors, Friends Send Congratulations to the New Coalition

Cambodia’s new coalition government was hailed by the international community this week, but the prospects for speedy admission into Asean membership and the regaining of the UN seat were still unclear.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement Mon­day expressing his desire “to see Cambodia resume its full role in the family of nations.” UN officials said the credentials committee would discuss the issue of Cambodia’s UN seat next month.

The US said Monday that it welcomed the formation of a new government in Cambodia, but would not say if the country would end its opposition to a representative from Cambodia’s new government taking up a seat in the UN.

“We will be looking at various aspects of our policy in light of these developments and as the situation continues to evolve,” US State Department spokesman James Rubin said. He added that Washington still “attaches great importance to genuine political openness and tolerance and to the enforcement of laws to protect human rights.”

The UN seat has been kept vacant since September last year, following the factional fighting of July 1997. Hun Sen has called for international recognition to be extended to the new coalition government that was sworn in Monday

France called on donor nations Monday to resume aid in the wake of the formation of a new government. “France wishes that Cambodia can rapidly occupy the place it used to have, in its region as well as in the arms of the international community,” said a statement issued by the French For­eign Ministry on Monday.

Thailand also welcomed the formation of a new government on Monday, but said it was still unclear whether the development  would speed up Cam­bodia’s Asean application.

“We welcome the move and want the new government to solve constitutional problems in line with the last remaining agreements between the two parties,” Thai Deputy Foreign Min­ister Sukhumbhand Pari­batra told reporters Monday.

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