Telegram 157, 1978 on French Activities





Telegram 157 (File number: G1962)
1155 [characters]


Dear respected Mo 81 [Office 81],


          In the morning of March 4, an official from the Consulate of the French Embassy in Beijing came and met us [Khmer Rouge Officials] at the embassy and gave us a declaration of the government of France dated January 2, 1978. We attached herewith the declaration in French language. 


          In the mean time, the official asked about situation of the conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam, its evolution, and our stance towards settlement of the conflict. Both [Cambodia and France] raised up the subject of friendly relationship between the two countries. 


          He affirmed that foreign Minister of France permitted him to meet in order to grant this declaration and also ask to confirm on the two subjects. 


          We informed him of the situation of the conflict, the cause leading to the conflict between the two countries [Cambodia and Vietnam], the evolution of the current situation on the border, and the diplomatic manoeuvres that Vietnam has been staging in distorting international views in regard to the 5 February 1978 declaration of its government. We further stressed that the conflict are not attributed to the unclear border delineation as set forth by the Vietnamese since the resolution with respect to the border issue was stated clearly in the joint declaration between the government of Cambodia and that of Vietnam, in 1966.  


          For our stance toward solving this conflict, we informed him by emphasizing on the same points as we did to other embassies.  


          In addition, the official asked us if we would agree to have a third country to help handle the problem in case the situation kept dragging on. He also told us that the government of France did not know of any attitude by Vietnam concerning its declaration on February 5, 1978. He further notified that in the past French foreign Minister planned to pay a visit in Vietnam, but has now postponed it.  


          As far as the friendly relationship between the two countries Cambodia and France is concerned, the official recalled that France have long had friendly relationship with Cambodia. He explained that in spite of the French diplomatic tie with Lon Nol government between 1970-75, it was not a sincere one because the government was a buffer of America while France preferred existence of the then government of King Sihanouk. After the liberation of Cambodia, however, France also wanted a continued diplomatic relationship. But, the problem has yet to be solved, whereas the Cambodian Embassy in Paris is now closed down.


          We stressed in response to him that our government following the liberation of Cambodia has virtually underlined its foreign policy that wants to make good friends and seeks to have friendship relations with both neighboring and remote countries based on the principle provided for in our Constitutions. We will always respect this principle.  


          The problem [of diplomatic tie] with France that remains unsolved is however not because of Cambodia, rather it is because France still has some problems in which it has not yet showed that it wants a good relationship with Cambodia. We brought up an example for confirmation by mentioning about France protecting Khmer traitors and having them to commit all kinds of prevaricating acts harmful to the politics and grace of Cambodia. This, of course, only results in the two countries having bad relationship. As for the Khmer traitors, the official confirmed to us that France does not allow them to conduct activities detrimental to the benefit of France. As you are already aware, the official said, that in France there are many media and political institutions--some with Mark-Leninist and some other with liberal ideology, and that some of them speak good [of us] and others do not. And yet, they are not assigned and controlled by the government. 


          Finally, the official stated that he would meet and discuss further with us again in this regard in the future in order to handle the relationship between the two countries. We reaffirmed to him that the government of France will then realize more of the Cambodian politics as mentioned above. 


          The discussion underwent in an agreeable and friendly atmosphere.                    


          Once again, the official emphasized that this was his first ever meeting with us after the liberation of Cambodia, and that it was the meeting permitted by the government [of Cambodia]. 


          Through his facial expression and conduct, we see that he seemed to want a good renewed relationship with Cambodia.  


          Please be informed, and please, Angkar, comment on this.   

                                                Tho [reporter's name]

                                                4 March 1978

                                                Received on 5 March 1978 at 17:30'  


Copied and sent to:


          -Uncle Nuon [Nuon Chea]

          -Brother Vann [Ieng Sary]

          -Brother Vorn