HL Deb 26 July 1990 vol 521 cc1780-1WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their policy towards Cambodia in the light of the latest meeting of the Five Permanent Members of the Security Council.

The Earl of Caithness

We welcome the American decision to open a dialogue with Vietnam on Cambodia. We share the United States Government's determination to do all we can to prevent the Khmer Rouge from returning to power by force of arms. Our common objective is to create the conditions to enable the Cambodian people to elect a government, free from the fear of foreign invasion, civil war or Khmer Rouge atrocities. We and our EC partners were already reviewing our policy towards Cambodia. Months ago at the EC-ASEAN Ministerial meeting at Kuching we and our EC partners warned the ASEAN Foreign Ministers that we would be re-examining this particular question very closely before the 1990 UNGA. My noble friend the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made clear on 5th February this year that the occupation of the seat would be a key factor in the peace process. On 30th April, replying to a question by the honourable Member for Leeds West, my honourable friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs told another place that we would have to look closely at the question of Cambodia's seat at the United Nations in the context of current diplomatic activity aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement. We can now state that we do not want the coalition of which the Khmer Rouge is a member to continue to occupy Cambodia's UN seat. Consultations with EC partners and other interested countries on the handling of this question will continue.

With the other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, we continue to work hard to achieve a comprehensive political settlement. At their latest meeting on 16th-17th July, the Permanent Five made significant progress on two key elements of a solution based on an enhanced UN role: transitional arrangements regarding the administration of Cambodia during the pre-election period: and military arrangements. They agreed to accelerate their work in the remaining three areas (free and fair elections, safeguarding of human rights, and international guarantees) which were identified in their earlier meeting in New York on 25th-26th May as essential aspects of a comprehensive political settlement. The Five are due to hold their next meeting in New York on 27th-28th August.

A copy of the Summary of Conclusions of the 16th-17th July meeting has been placed in the Library.

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