Retired King Norodom Sihanouk will visit Cambodia’s borders once the country’s three neighbors agree to work with his newly formed border council, a Royal Palace statement said Friday.
Norodom Sihanouk, King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Monineath are scheduled to return to Phnom Penh from Beijing on May 8.
The retired King will meet Var Kimhong, the government’s border affairs chairman, and other members of the government’s existing border affairs committee on May 10, following a “working dinner” meeting of the new Supreme National Council on border affairs on May 9, the Royal Palace said.
Var Kimhong said Sunday he did not know of the scheduled meeting.
The new seven-member border council will work on a bilateral basis with Lao, Thailand and Vietnam to check and verify the demarcation of land and maritime borders “kilometer by kilometer,” the statement said.
It went on to say that after King Sihamoni’s birthday on May 14, Norodom Sihanouk will ask Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong to meet with ambassadors from Lao, Thailand and Vietnam to fix a date and time when he could meet and discuss border issues with them.
According to a letter to Norodom Sihanouk dated April 27, Sam Rainsy, whose party has chosen him to represent them in the new council, said he would be present for the May 9 “working dinner” at the palace.
But his party officials said Sunday that no date has been fixed for his return.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said last week Sam Rainsy was safe to return to Cambodia and that he would not be apprehended.
The National Assembly stripped Sam Rainsy and two other opposition lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity in February, forcing the party leader into self-imposed exile.
But Sam Rainsy Party officials doubted that the lawmakers’ immunities would be restored or that the prime minister would drop a defamation suit against Sam Rainsy. “We don’t believe [Hun Sen],” opposition lawmaker Yim Sovann said.