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No Politics Expected on Former King’s Vietnam Visit

Former king Norodom Sihanouk will not discuss some of the country’s most pressing issues with Vietnam when he visits later this month, a royal spokesman said.

Norodom Sihanouk will visit the country some time after the birthday of former queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, who was born on June 18, 1936, in Saigon.

The visit is private, according to royal spokesman Prince Sisowath Thomico, but the former king is expected to express his gratitude to Vietnam for its help over the past three decades of war and strife.

Advocates say they want the former king to address the issues of ethnic Khmer living in a southern portion of Vietnam that once belonged to Cambodia. His visit also comes as Cambodian officials are facing criticism from the opposition for its border demarcation policies.

“His majesty has nothing to discuss, because he is retired,” Sisowath Thomico said.

In a June 14 statement, the former king said his visit will be “totally private” and is being undertaken at the invitation of Vietnam.