Cambodia Will not Attend the Ukraine Peace Summit, Hun Sen Says

On May 28, Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk invited Hun Sen to attend the peace summit during a video conference. Photo: SHS Media/Telegram

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia will not attend the Ukraine Peace Summit on June 15 and 16 because the country expects the meeting to be unsuccessful, Senate President Hun Sen said on June 7.



The peace summit to be held in Switzerland is to focus on plans outlined by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to end the Russian Invasion of his country, which started in February 2022. More than 100 countries have reportedly accepted to take part in the meeting. Russia was not invited and China is staying away from the meeting as, according to the Chinese authorities, the country wanted representatives both sides of the conflict to be present.



Hun Sen announced Cambodia’s decision not to attend the peace summit in a Telegram post during the evening of June 7 as he was responding to an unnamed foreign media reporting the participation of Southeast Asian countries in the summit. In his message, he also said that this media was trying to blame China if Cambodia does not attend.



On May 28, Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk invited Hun Sen to attend the peace summit during a video conference.



As Hun Sen explained afterwards, he had told Stefanchuk that Cambodia was considering a peace plan and whether or not to join the meeting.



“I also informed him that the peace summit would not be successful if relevant parties, and especially Russia, were not invited to join,” Hun Sen said. “I told him that before, during, and after the summit, Russia would launch strong military attacks on the battlefield.”



He also said that he had told this to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency director on June 2 and the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who paid official visit to Cambodia on June 4.



In his Telegram message, Cambodia’s former prime minister said that Cambodia is an independent state and that there had never been any Chinese leaders telling him to do this or that to fulfill China’s wishes.



“On the contrary, those who accuse Cambodia of following China, always come to put pressure on Cambodia to follow themselves, thus often leading to word clashes with me,” Hun Sen wrote. “Cambodia’s decision not to attend the peace summit is Cambodia’s right, as Cambodia sees it [as prone to be] unsuccessful. As for other countries to join or not, it is their rights.”



Hun Sen said not to try to blame China when Cambodia does not participate in the peace summit and to please stop linking Cambodia to the geopolitical game against China.



During the Asia’s defense summit IISS Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore a week ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Beijing was working hard to prevent countries from attending the peace summit.



Beijing rejected the accusation with China’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Mao Ning saying on June 3 that China is still committed to the peace talks.


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