The Khmer Republic Government has announced it is prepared to hold peace talks with the country's communist led insurgents without any prior conditions.
GV Government Guest House and Khmer flag (2 shots)
LV Interior Prime Minister Long Bouret at table.
CU US Ambassador John Dean takes seat.
SCU Bouret speaking in French.
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Background: The Khmer Republic Government has announced it is prepared to hold peace talks with the country's communist led insurgents without any prior conditions. The Prime Minister, Mr. Long Bouret told a news conference he would like to see the talks start immediately. They should begin at a place and time agreeable to both parties. The message was also broadcast by President Lon No1.
The offer to hold talks comes at a time when the Government forces have scored military successes. They have launched attacks to recapture the old capital of Oudong which was taken by the communists last March. The Government suffered heavy losses during the battle, but now claim they have done the same to the communists during the battle to recapture the town.
Observers in Phnom Penh say the Government controls the towns and between two thirds and three quarters of the population, but the communists control all but one quarter of the countryside.
SYNOPSIS: With prospects on the battle field their brightest for some months, the Khmer Republic Government has made a formal offer to the communist insurgents to hold peace talks. The Prime Minister, Mr. Long Bouret made the offer at a news conference in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. The American Ambassador, Mr. John Dean, was invited.
Mr. Boret said that the Khmer Republic was launching a solemn appeal to the Khmers of the other side and invited them to undertake immediately negotiations for peace. He said the talks would be without prior conditions and at a time and place agreeable to both sides.
Even as Mr. Boret was speaking, Government troops were continuing their advance on Oudong, the old capital. The town was overrun last March with heavy losses to the Government troops. But the counter - offensive has inflicted similar casualties on the communists.
Mr. Boret's offer of peace was also broadcast by President Lon No1 on radio. Both men said that since the Government issued peace proposals last year, its troops had greatly improved their position. At his news conference, Mr. Boret said he was optimistic about the chances of the offer succeeding.