Prince Norodom Sihanouk, former Head of State of Cambodia, now Kampuchea, has called for an international Geneva-type conference to put an end to the fighting which has raged in his country for over a decade.
Prince Norodom Sihanouk, former Head of State of Cambodia, now Kampuchea, has called for an international Geneva-type conference to put an end to the fighting which has raged in his country for over a decade. But the Prince says that only military pressure would push Vietnam and the Soviet Union to the conference table and he made an appeal for arms to aid Khmer nationalist guerrillas. Prince Sihanouk spoke to a meeting in Nogent Sur Marne, a town near Paris.
SYNOPSIS: Prince Sihanouk was deposed by a coup led by Marshal Lon No1 in 1970, and went to live in China. While there he formed the royal Government of National Union of Cambodia and later returned to Phnom Penh when the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975.
Again in exile following the fall of the Pol Pot Government, Prince Sihanouk campaigns for continued international recognition for the former Khmer Rouge Government.
The former leader now says he will reside in Paris for the next three months -- and make visits throughout Western Europe. He denies that he proposes to resume leadership of Kampuchea. But he makes it clear that one of the main aims of his tour is to rally support. He maintains he needs more support in order to challenge successive Kampuchean administrations backed either by the Soviet Union or China.
Prince Sihanouk says the best solution would be an international conference of the type held in Geneva in 1954. He is confident that France and other powers would support the idea. At the same time he is equally sure the conference cannot take place in the near future, because the countries which hold what he called `the keys to war' are opposed to it.
To help persuade these countries Prince Sihanouk asks all sympathetic powers to grant military aid to Khmer nationalist guerrillas, a present fighting the Vietnamese-backed forces of the Heng Samrin Government. He says it is the only way to end Vietnamese influence in Kampuchea since according to Prince Sihanouk, the only language the Vietnamese understand is that of force. He also calls on countries of the West to insist that medical aid and food they send to Kampuchea is distributed directly by their aid organization.