For the first time in nearly a year, Cambodian and United Nations officials met on Monday in a bid to restart discussions on establishing a tribunal for former Khmer Rouge leaders accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.
"We came very far. It's enough to demonstrate our good will," Sok An, a close confidante of Prime Minister Hun Sen, told reporters during a short break in the talks. "We have ... optimism."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited the Cambodian negotiators to the United Nations to prepare for talks in Phnom Penh at a later date. Annan must report to the UN General Assembly on the progress of the talks by March 18, according to a resolution passed last month.
The meeting at UN headquarters was the first face-to-face encounter between Cambodian and UN negotiators since the world body decided to abandon the process around a year ago, citing a lack of commitment on Cambodia's behalf to ensuring a high standard in the tribunal, AP reported.
Sok An, who previously served as the Cambodian government's chief negotiator with the United Nations, and legal counsel Hans Corell, who is representing the United Nations, said talks included legal matters and preparation for a possible agreement. The discussions are expected to continue on Tuesday. (Albawaba.com)
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