Princess Says Border Agreement To Cause Rift Agree

Funcinpec lawmaker Princess Norodom Vicheara, chairwoman of the National Assembly’s For­eign Af­fairs Commission, warned Wed­nes­day that a national rift is growing over next month’s plan­ned sign­ing of an additional border ag­re­ement between Cambo­dia and Vietnam.

Documents obtained Sept 14 re­veal that Prime Minister Hun Sen will visit Vietnam in October to ne­go­­­tiate a supplemental treaty based on the 1985 border agreement, which will be kept secret un­til after it is ratified by the Na­tion­al As­sem­bly.

The princess said she believed it would be illegal for the government to sign off on the same ar­rangement as 1985, which critics say ceded Cam­­bodian land to Viet­nam, and which was annulled at the Paris Peace Accord in 1991.

A “national rift is growing,” the princess said. “In my opinion, it would be wrong and illegal if the government signs the 1985 border treaty with Vietnam because it af­fects the nation’s territorial in­te­grity.”

“I think the government should explain its intentions and this issue clearly,” she said. “Or the whole na­tion will have ill suspicion of them.”

She called for a stop to negotiations until a suitable replacement for retired King Norodom Siha­nouk could be appointed to lead the Su­preme National Council on Border Af­fairs, of which she is a deputy chair­woman.

On Tuesday, National As­sem­bly Pres­ident Prince Noro­dom Rana­rid­dh said it will take many years to re­solve border disputes between the two coun­tries and for a treaty to be signed.

He added that Vietnam and Cam­bodia have reached a compromise on six of seven points relating to the border agreement.

“There are seven points, six of which a compromise was reach­ed,” he said. “There is one point that we cannot accept. Vietnam says we should sign all seven but it’s not right because Cambodia [will] lose a lot,” the prince said at the Olympic Sta­dium.

He said “Dak Dam” is the re­main­ing point of contention, ap­parently referring to the commune in Mon­dolkiri province’s O’Reang district.




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