HC Deb 13 June 1990 vol 174 cc283-4
12. Mr. Mullin

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to review the Government's position on the seating of Cambodia at the United Nations when the matter comes before the credentials committee later in the current year; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sainsbury

With our EC partners we are reviewing our policy towards Cambodia's representation at the United Nations. In doing so we shall be taking into account the efforts of a range of countries, notably the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, to achieve a comprehensive political settlement.

Mr. Mullin

May I draw the Minister's attention to a report by Mr. Raoul Jennar on the situation in Cambodia in which he states that because of the termination of aid from eastern Europe the Government in Cambodia will not survive for more than six to 18 months, and that the only force capable of filling the vacuum is the Khmer Rouge? Will he give an undertaking that in no circumstances, in September or October when the decision arises in the United Nations, will we vote again for the coalition which contains the Khmer Rouge?

Mr. Sainsbury

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that active negotiations are taking place to achieve a comprehensive political settlement. That is surely the right way to achieve lasting peace and stability in Cambodia. We hope that the negotiations, with the United Nations playing a leading role, will enable us to establish a supreme national council which would occupy the seat for Cambodia at the United Nations. We must not anticipate the outcome of the negotiations, but we cannot want them to fail.

Mr. Bowis

Does my hon. Friend accept that it is offensive that the seat at the United Nations for the Cambodian people should be held by people who are at least the henchmen of Pol Pot? Will my hon. Friend do everything in his power to ensure that the United Kingdom and the international community stand up to those people, especially at a time when the offensive by the Khmer Rouge forces is getting closer to Phnom Penh?

Mr. Sainsbury

I assure my hon. Friend that we have made clear on numerous occasions our repugnance for the Khmer Rouge regime. We have not supplied assistance to it of any kind at any time. The objective must be to achieve peace and stability in Cambodia through a comprehensive political settlement, and that is the end to which we are working with our partners among the permanent representatives at the United Nations. I hope that we shall succeed in time for a supreme national council to represent Cambodia at the United Nations.