In a rare, seaside interview during a working vacation at the Khmer Republic's only deep-water port of Kompong Som, President Lon Nol last Monday (30 December) indicated that he was prepared to talk peace with the communist-led insurgents without a ceasefire.
GV President Lon Nol on beach and into water surrounded by security guards
SV Lon Nol wading into sea
CV Warship standing by
CU Lon Nol swimming (2 shots)
CU President's daughter carried by nurse
SV President walking from water on to beach
SCU Madame Lon Nol, with daughter, looks on
SCU Lon Nol being washed with fresh water
SCU PAN TO Military aides during press conference (2 shots)
SCU Lon Nol seated (SOF STARTS: "Accepted...") (SOF ENDS: "... la meilleur.")
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Background: In a rare, seaside interview during a working vacation at the Khmer Republic's only deep-water port of Kompong Som, President Lon Nol last Monday (30 December) indicated that he was prepared to talk peace with the communist-led insurgents without a ceasefire.
But he stressed that any such negotiations must take place without any prior conditions imposed by either side.
President Lon Nol flew to Kompong Som -- about 125 miles (192 kilometres) southwest of the beleaguered capital of Phnom Penh -- shortly after insurgent mortar attacks on the port city. Official sources indicated that the main reason for his visit was to demonstrate his confidence in troops defending Kompong Som. But his week-long visit also combined daily swims with and intensive series of high-level meeting involving all of his military and civilian leaders.
The president's health has improved noticeably during his stay at the seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand, and he appeared stronger physically than at any time since he suffered a crippling stroke in 1971.
During the interview -- which he granted after a swim --President Lon Nol denied reports that he might resign because of failing health, or for any other reason --but he did not reject a suggestion that he might agree to work with the communist-led insurgents in some form of coalition regime.
But even as President Lon Nol cautioned at Kompong Som that the two sides should negotiated without foreign interference -- an apparent allusion to the United States -- Phnom Penh came under the closest siege since the halt of U.S. bombing in 1973, as insurgents fought their way to within two miles (3.2 kilometres) of the capital.