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Cambodia



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

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FA122 10 September 1998

CAMBODIA

The Australian Government is deeply concerned about the current situation in Phnom Penh, which follows the holding of national elections in Cambodia on 26 July.

I call on all parties to exercise restraint at this time, and to be mindful of the possible consequences that might flow from not doing so. We urge all parties to avoid resort to violence as a means to political ends and to make every effort to peacefully resolve the current impasse. In particular, we encourage a spirit of negotiation and for the parties to work, as called for by King Sihanouk, toward the formation of a new Government.

The Australian Government deplores any loss of life that has occurred as a result of the recent unrest. I take this opportunity to express Australia’s deep regret at acts of hostility and violence against persons of Vietnamese descent in Cambodia, as well as at verbal abuse directed against that community for political ends.

Australia and other members of the international community hope to see an end to violence in Cambodia. It is my belief that the people of Cambodia, who voted so enthusiastically in the recent national elections, now deserve a chance for peace and stability in order to build and develop their country.

Media Contacts: Innes Willox, 0419 206 890