Cambodian and Singaporean counterpart have telecon to end spat

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Prak Sokhonn (L) and his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan. A telephone conversation Friday afternoon ends diplomatic spat Khmer Times

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) Prak Sokhonn and his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs have had a telephone conversation on Friday afternoon amidst controversy over a face book post of a letter by Singapore’s Prime Minister.

The subject of a the telephone conversation, initiated by Mr. Balakrishnan was regarding a Facebook post of Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, related to the presence of the Vietnamese troops in Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime.

A statement issued by MFAIC said: “Minister Vivian has affirmed that there was no ill-intention in the above-said message. That message was just meant to recall the situation and the challenges at that time as was publicly stated before. Furthermore, he evoked the joint statement that was circulated by UN Security Council in 1979 which asserts the self-determination rights of the people of Cambodia.

“Singapore’s foreign minister had further underlined the desire of Singapore to see a peaceful and prosperous Cambodia, and had no wish to support Khmer Rouge regime and to see their return to power. He hopes that there would be no more ambiguity of Singapore’s sincerity.”

The statement added that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has stressed the importance of bilateral relations between Singapore and Cambodia which currently develops in various areas, and expressed his understanding of the suffering of the people of Cambodia in Khmer Rouge Regime. Singapore and Cambodia have worked along with other South East Asian countries to build a cohesive and united Asean.

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“The two Foreign Ministers concur, despite the different perspectives on the historical facts, both countries are nevertheless committed to build good neighborhood and good friendship. Both would make every effort to leave behind the past and continue to engage in further productive dialogues,” the MFAIC statement further stressed.

The two Foreign Ministers firmly believe that, the meeting between the two Prime Ministers of Cambodia and Singapore at the upcoming ASEAN Summit will provide opportunities for them to reach a better mutual understanding, jointly strengthen further friendly relations and good cooperation between Cambodia and Singapore, as well as with other Asean countries, for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.

“In order to prevent any upheavals in the present and in the future, Cambodia would take a stance to avoid any attempt to dig into the past. Both countries would jointly work together to build a cohesive and united ASEAN, which is the will of both leaders and people of Asean. “the statement concluded.

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