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Sihanouk, Cambodian Premier Confer
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Dec 3, 1987
Start Page: 9
Section: 1; Foreign Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

The Vietnamese invaded Cambodia at the end of 1978, ousted the tyrannical Khmer Rouge government of Pol Pot, and installed a dependent Cambodian government that [Hun Sen] now heads. Vietnam now has 140,000 troops in Cambodia but says it intends to withdraw them all by the end of 1990. Many analysts believe that the cost of the war has become too burdensome for Vietnam's economy.

With American and Chinese support, a rebel coalition was formed nine years ago to fight the Cambodian government, which has received very little diplomatic recognition. The resistance coalition included Sihanouk, who was deposed as head of state in 1970 but returned for a brief period as chief of state in 1975; Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge army, and Son Sann, the leader of Cambodian republicans.

The Cambodian government had to accept some of Sihanouk's face-saving conditions before he would agree to meet with Hun Sen. In his communications with the prince, Hun Sen had to drop his title of premier and simply call himself monsieur. Moreover, he had to come to one of Sihanouk's favorite hotels, a place the prince regards as a kind of home in France.

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