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Hill calls on Evans to make full statement on Cambodia

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JfeMEDIA RELEASESENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRSFriday, September 4 80/92ΗΤΤ.Τ. ΓΑΤ.ΤΛ ftW g g M S TO MAKE FULL STATEMENT ON CAMBODIAThe Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today called on the Foreign Minister, Senator Evans, to make a full statement to Parliament on the future of the Cambodian peace process."Senator Evans is today reported as saying in Jakarta that the Khmer Rouge was unlikely to rejoin the United Nations peace process in Cambodia," Senator Hill said."He has also been speculating aloud about scenarios for the future of Cambodia."These have included everything from the isolation of the Khmer Rouge from the UN process, to the possibility of a 'full-scale shooting war', to a complete UN withdrawal from the country."It is totally inappropriate and unacceptable for Senator Evans to be publicly speculating abroad about the process without first providing his own country - which is playing a key role in the process - with a full and proper explanation about the future of the peace process."The Minister has once again demonstrated his total lack of respect for the Parliament, and his actions in Jakarta were typical of his behaviour."Senator Evans only ever makes a statement to Parliament on Cambodia when he is absolutely forced to, but he has no difficulty grand-standing about issues while overseas."However, the options he canvassed in Jakarta .all involve fundamental change to the current UN peace plan - the plan outlined by the Prime Minister, Mr Keating, to Parliament in April and the basis upon which Australian personnel were sent to Cambodia."For this reason, a full statement to Parliament is imperative."Senator Evans's latest comments about the peace process are in stark contrast to his most recent statement in Parliament, on June 18, that 'there is no cause for immense gloom or pessimism about the settlement process'.COMMONWEALTHP A R L IA M E N T A R Y l i b r a r y M IC A H

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"The Minister has also consistently dismissed the option of excluding the Khmer Rouge from the UN process to allow for a tripartite settlement.

"But he is now reported as saying that this was in some ways 'a credible option, in some ways even an attractive option'.

"The Khmer Rouge is continuing to deliberately and seriously undermine the peace process by refusing to properly take part in Phase 2 of the plant the disarmament, demobilisation and cantonment of troops.

"It has also captured and detained UN troops, called for the resignation of the UN's head of peacekeeping in Cambodia, called for border changes, fired upon UN helicopters, and incited racial hatred against Vietnamese.

"Senator Evans should make a full statement to Parliament on the future of the Cambodian peace process, in line with the Prime Minister's promise that the Parliament and the

Australian people would be kept fully informed of events.

"Senator Evans's actions in Jakarta were totally

unsatisfactory for an Australian Foreign Minister."


Enquiries* Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (08) 237 7920