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Foreign Minister's Trip To China Sets Suspicion As Khmer Rouge Trial Process Begins

Foreign Minister Hor Nam Hong plans a four-day official visit to China this week at the time when the Cambodian government and the U.N. begin the long awaited Khmer Rouge Tribunal procedure.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs say that deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong's visit from July 13-16 will be made by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's invitation.

Two agreements on cooperations between the two countries on lifting visas for diplomatic personnels and official visas, are believed to be signed by the two foreign ministers at the time of visit.

But the former Khmer Rouge leaders' trial, who are responsible for genocide, crime against humanity, and the killings of one million 700,000 people from 1975-1979, and China which is believed to have supported the regime then, might be on the agenda of the visit too.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party lawmaker Son Chhay who thinks that the Khmer Rouge leaders' trial will be discussed at the meeting, blames China, saying that this country knew about the killings in 1970s, and warns that this trial should be done fairly, and not catering to any country.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith says that Mr. Hor Nam Hong will not discuss about the former Khmer Rouge leaders' trial during his visit. He says that according to Cambodia and the U.N. agreement, the tribunal formed by Cambodia and the U.N. will try the former Khmer Rouge leaders in Democratic Kampuchea regime. He specifies that the trial has nothing to do with countries that support the Khmer Rouge regime, and that some people are afraid of Cambodian People's Party's (CPP) possibility of benefiting from the trial.

The Documentation of Cambodia's director Yuk Chhang says that he does not expect China will have influence on the Khmer Rouge Tribunal procedure, since it has already begun. He hopes that Cambodian and international judges are independent and will not be influenced by foreign powers.