Cambodian Factions Clash at Peace Talks

Associated Press

Cambodia's Vietnam-installed government and delegates of the Khmer Rouge guerrillas clashed at peace talks that ended today, and a settlement of the 9-year-old civil war remained elusive, participants said.

One participant, Foreign Minister Suppiah Dhanabalan of Singapore, said the four Cambodian factions remained "quite far apart" after four days of informal talks.

The talks brought together Vietnam, the nominal coalition of three guerrilla groups opposing its occupation of Cambodia, the Phnom Penh government and Vietnam's close ally, Laos.

Vietnam's delegate, Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach, said he was "half-happy" with the talks. "We are determined to have a political solution before the end of 1990," he said.

A closing statement by the host, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, said all participants agreed on the urgent need for a political settlement leading to a neutral and nonaligned Cambodia.

It said they also agreed on withdrawing Vietnamese forces, preventing "the recurrence of genocidal policies and practices" of the Khmer Rouge regime, and ending foreign arms supplies to the warring parties.

But Khieu Samphan of the communist Khmer Rouge said in a statement that it was a "shameless lie" to claim that the groups agreed on a wide range of issues.

His statement appeared to reject any linkage between the pullout of Vietnamese troops and steps to prevent the Khmer Rouge from returning to power.

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