Prime Minister Hun Sen said the situation in Afghanistan evoked memories of when the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in 1975, one of the bitterest events in Cambodian history that marked the beginning of a period of utmost grief.
Hun Sen made the remarks in a speech on September 12 at the seventh World Rally of Hope: Think-Tank 2022, held via video conference and organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) with the theme “Peace in the Asia-Pacific”.
He noted that the geopolitical event in the region that had attracted a great deal of international attention was the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover of its capital Kabul.
“This event is a grim and bitter reminder of what happened in Cambodia on April 17, 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh, a day which was marked by the utmost grief.
“Cambodia and the people remember this tragedy and are determined to prevent any similar events from ever happening again,” he said.
He said the geopolitical landscape in the Asia-Pacific region was fast-changing with global power shifts and geopolitical rivalries becoming more complex, delicate and fraught with the utmost dangers.
“Unfortunately, to some extent, the geopolitical fault lines have now been redrawn, which could render them vulnerable to tendencies towards atypical disruptions. That is, small states are being placed under mounting pressure to choose sides against their will and interests,” he said.
The prime minister said practical experiences from the political developments in Afghanistan and elsewhere clearly show that peace and nation-building can only be achieved by local stakeholders within the country where the conflict is occurring and other countries cannot perform the roles of the local stakeholders in achieving those objectives.
Full article: https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/kabuls-fall-reminder-phnom-penh-1975-pm