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Cablegate: Cambodian Foreign Minister Supports Release Of

O 040959Z JUN 03
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0287
INFO ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L PHNOM PENH 000922


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/03/2008
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV BM CB
SUBJECT: CAMBODIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SUPPORTS RELEASE OF
AUNG SAN SUU KYI

REF: STATE 146687

CLASSIFIED BY: AMBASSADOR CHARLES A. RAY. REASON: 1.5 (B) (D).

1. (C) DURING A JUNE 4 MEETING ON THE CAMBODIAN ELECTIONS
AND COUNTER-TERRORISM COOPERATION (SEPTEL), THE AMBASSADOR
ASKED FOREIGN MINISTER HOR NAMHONG TO WEIGH IN WITH THE SPDC
TO OBTAIN THE RELEASE OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI. OBSERVING THAT
THE DETENTION OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI ADVERSELY AFFECTED THE
REPUTATION OF ASEAN AS A WHOLE, THE AMBASSADOR SUGGESTED THAT
CAMBODIA AS THE ASEAN CHAIR COULD PLAY A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN
CONVINCING THE SPDC TO RELEASE HER.

2. (C) INDICATING THAT HE WAS AWARE OF THE INTERNATIONAL
OUTRAGE AT THE DETENTION, HOR NAMHONG RESPONDED THAT HE HAD
JUST GIVEN AN INTERVIEW TO NHK, THE JAPANESE TELEVISION
NETWORK. HE SAID THAT HE HAD RELATED TO NHK THAT ASEAN HAD
BEEN PLEASED WITH THE DEVELOPMENTS IN BURMA OVER THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS, INCLUDING AUNG SAN SUU KYI'S RELEASE FROM
HOUSE ARREST, THE DIALOGUE WITH THE SPDC AND THE FREEDOM SHE
HAD TO MOVE AROUND THE COUNTRY. NOW, HE SAID, ASEAN WAS "NOT
VERY HAPPY." HOR NAMHONG SAID THAT HE COMMENTED THAT HE
HOPED THE SITUATION WOULD SOON RETURN TO NORMAL. THE FOREIGN
MINISTER ADDED THAT ASEAN'S PRINCIPLE OF NON-INTERFERENCE IN
THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF MEMBER COUNTRIES PREVENTED HIM FROM
TAKING DIRECT ACTION WITH BURMA UNLESS INVITED. HE NOTED TO
THE AMBASSADOR ALSO THAT BURMA'S ACTIONS WOULD BE A TOPIC FOR
DISCUSSION AT THE ARF/PMC MEETINGS.

3. (C) COMMENT. WHILE NOT PERHAPS AS MUCH AS WE WANTED FROM
HOR NAMHONG, HIS PUBLIC EXPRESSION OF UNHAPPINESS WITH THE
SPDC'S ACTIONS IS PROBABLY THE MOST WE COULD HOPE FOR. THE
ARF WILL, OF COURSE, PROVIDE A FORUM FOR CONCERNED NATIONS TO
EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS ON THE SPDC.


RAY

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