Cambodian king urges rival parties to overcome election stalemate
PHNOM PENH (AP) - Cambodia's king brought Prime Minister Hun Sen face to face with the head of the opposition for the first time in years on Saturday, urging the political rivals to find a peaceful solution to their post-election stalemate for the sake of national stability.
No agreement was reached at the brief meeting at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, but Mr Hun Sen is expected to meet opposition leader Sam Rainsy again on Monday for further talks, opposition officials said.
Mr Sam Rainsy's party says it would have won had the July vote been fair and has vowed to stage a new wave of protests on Sunday unless an independent committee investigates its claims of widespread voting irregularities. The government has rejected the demands, and there are fears the protests could trigger violence.
As the two looked on, King Norodom Sihamoni read a statement saying he was "begging the leaders of the two parties to cooperate" to overcome their political differences in the interest of "maintaining peace and stability" in Cambodia.