No Word On PM’s Plans for Meeting with UN Head

Government officials yesterday said they had no idea what Prime Minister Hun Sen would say to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when the two meet less than two weeks from now.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan and Hun Sen’s deputy Cabinet chief Nget Borey all said yesterday they did not know what topics would be broached during the meeting.

A statement posted on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website yesterday said that Mr Ban would be in Cambodia from Oct 26 through Oct 28, during which time he plans to visit the Khmer Rouge tribunal and Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and hold an “official talk” with the prime minister.

Pressed for details, Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said only that their talk would touch on “the cooperation between Cambodia and the UN.”

Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to the premier, said it was impossible to say what the two might discuss.

“His Excellency Ki-moon is not here yet. I cannot tell you,” he said. “I can only tell you after their meeting.”

Mr Hun Sen’s visit with Mr Ban, however, will come less than two months after he sent the UN Security Council and General Assembly a caustic pair of letters complaining that Thailand had threatened Cambodia with military aggression.

In the Aug 8 letters, the premier accused Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Veggagiva of threatening to use “both diplomatic and military” means to bolster his country’s position in its border dispute with Cambodia over land near Preah Vihear temple.

Mr Abhisit sent a letter to the UN two days later denying the charge.

More recently, Cambodia has dismissed a Thai government agency’s claims that Thai opposition loyalists trained on Cambodian soil for a mission to assassinate Mr Abhisit.

The Bangkok Post reported yesterday that Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said Thailand would raise the border issue when Mr Ban visits Bangkok Oct 26, but not the diplomatic row over the assassination claims.

Ann Lund, head of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Cambodia, said she had no details about Mr Ban’s visit.

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