Party Presidents Have First Private Meeting in 6 Years

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy paid a courtesy call to CPP President Chea Sim on Monday, the first private meeting between the two party leaders and political rivals in some six years.

“It was just an informal and family-type meeting,” Mr. Rainsy said in an email Tuesday. “My wife and I wished him good health and longevity.”

Mr. Sim, who also serves as president of the Senate, is in his 80s and has stayed largely out of the public eye due to ill health in recent years.

CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said Mr. Rainsy had wanted to meet with Mr. Sim since the CNRP and CPP struck a political deal in July ending a nearly yearlong deadlock over last year’s disputed national elections.

He said the two men finally met Monday for about half an hour at Mr. Sim’s Phnom Penh residence.

“There were some discussions about the culture of political discussion. Samdech Chea Sim gave us the message that the two parties have to talk about our nation’s problems to create national unity,” he said.

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