Sihanouk To Work on Border Issues on Return

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.


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