Phnom Penh (FN), Jun. 12 – The Senate President of Cambodia, Samdech Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will not participate in the Ukraine Peace Summit to be held from 15-16 June 2024, in Switzerland. The announcement of Samdech Hun Sen on the absence of Cambodia in the Ukraine Peace Summit caused different interpretation on Cambodia’s stance toward the issues between Russia and Ukraine. Some analysts think that Cambodia just made the decision at the advice of China since China will not participate in this peace summit.

Cambodia is not a client-state of China. Cambodia is an independent country which has good relations with all countries in the world including the US, ASEAN, EU, South Korea, Australia, and China.

Cambodia is a country that has gone through different wars in its history such as the invaded wars and civil wars which made the country to be suffering for longer time, and Cambodia is still be a developing country which still needs to develop in different fields.

After the Khmer Rouge Regim ended in 1979, Cambodia was divided into four different groups those groups include a group of People's Republic of Kampuchea which controlled Cambodia from 1979 to 1989, a group of the former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk, a group of Khmer Rouge, and a group of Samdech Son Sann.

Even Cambodia was divided into four different groups but the group of People's Republic of Kampuchea that administered Cambodia and the group of Samdech Norodom Sihanouk that controlled Cambodia’s seat in the United Nations were treated as the most important parties that played the very important roles for peace and unity in Cambodia. Base on the history of Cambodia People's Republic of Kampuchea was supported by Vietnam whereas Samdech Norodom Sihanouk was supported by China.

According to a report of the New York Times’s article; Sihanouk Meets Cambodia Chief: Prince Norodom Sihanouk met with Prime Minister Hun Sen in a first tentative effort to negotiate an end to the guerrilla war in Cambodia on 3 December 1987. In a brief news conference after the six-hour meeting, Prince Ranariddh, Prince's Sihanouk's son, said the meeting had been ''very warm but frank.'

Samdech Hun Sen is a very important person who brings peace for Cambodia and he is also the one who ended the war in Cambodia by using different strategies for working inside-outside Cambodia. Hun Sen is still here in Cambodia, and now he is the president of the Senate of Cambodia, so Hun Sen deeply knows the outcomes of the Ukraine Peace Summit. For Hun Sen, all related parties should be invited to join the Peace Summit, in this case if Russia is not invited to attend the summit, how can we treat that summit as the peace summit?

If the international community and EU countries really want peace and stability in Ukraine, they should invite Russia to join and talk to find the best solution in order to end the war in Ukraine. Right now, Ukraine is not even a member of EU country and Ukraine is also not a member of NATO.

With all respect to Ukraine and EU countries as well as countries that are working for peace and stability in the world, peace is very important for all countries including Cambodia but it would not be the good choice or it not be a good strategy if we just invite one party and then we ignore another related party of the conflict.

What would be the expected outcome of Ukraine Peace Summit? Will EU countries decide to make war against Russia? Will the US send their militaries to fight with Russia? Will NATO send their militaries to help Ukraine? Or will NATO allow Ukraine to be a new member?

As the expectation, after the Ukraine Peace Summit there will have a statement to condemn Russia and then nothing happen. Ukrainian people will still need to fight against Russian troops by themselves, EU, the US and other countries will still need to negotiate with their congresses whether their governments should continue to support Ukraine or not. It is a sad outcome but it is true for Ukraine because the world is playing the funniest game right now. EU countries boycotted not to buy oil or gasoline from Russia but they buy from India while India imported from Russia. It is still the Russian oil even though EU buy it from Indian government.

Another funny thing that should be mention here: the US decided not to buy garment-factory products from China but decided to buy from Vietnam while Vietnam imported those materials from China, according to VOA reported on Vietnam's Trade Surplus with US Depends on China released on 19 May 2024.

The last best example is the crisis in Myanmar, the international community and ASEAN countries are working hard to tackle the issue but still cannot find the best solution for Myanmar because they did not invite both parties to join the meeting and talk. There is no conflict that could be solved if we ignore another party because there is no party that will agree to lose. Negotiation and face-to-face discussion with related parties are the only strategies to solve the problem.

Cambodia is an independent country that full of experiences in conflict resolution, Cambodian government just want Russia to be invited to talk in the peace summit which will be taken place in the upcoming days. The stance of Cambodia’s foreign policy toward Ukraine is still be the same: Cambodia condemns the invasion and Cambodia supports peace finding in the suitable ways. Cambodia supported the UN to condemn Russia for its invasion on Ukraine, and Cambodia still supports peace solution that is suitable and acceptable for all related countries.

Seun Sam is a policy analyst of the Royal Academy of Cambodia. All views in this article are his own.