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CPP and SRP Agree to Drop Charges Against Each Other

Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) leaders agree Friday to stop talking about difficult issues by dropping charges and counter-charges against one another, and instead think about national interests, allege opposition party officials and government officials.

Mr. Sam Rainsy was sentenced last year in absentia to 18 months imprisonment for defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), and Prince Ranaridh of the royalist FUNCINPEC party accusing them of receiving and giving bribes in exchangefor the formation of a coalition government.

The 3 parties'leaders charged one another for a period of two years.

Mr. Sam Rainsy has been living in self-imposed exile in France.

The public charges have tarnish Cambodia's name and prevent the development of the societies.

According to sources close to the opposition party and the government officials, the improvement is constructive because both sides end difficult issues.

Mr. Sam Rainsy, SRP leader, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen in a way which is seen as a softening in position and Mr. Hun Sen replies.

The letters were not seen publicly but the government spokesman Khieu Kanharith says that there was a development, and one can always ask the government's lawyer for details.

He says that the civil societies, the labor unions, and the NGOs are not opposition parties, andit is wrong if these organizations insult the government.

The government's lawyer Suong Chanthan, and Mr. Hun Sen's lawyer Ka Savudh allege that they do not know about this development. But Mr,. Sam Rainsy does not make any comment.