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Profile: Norodom Sihanouk

Positions that Norodom Sihanouk has held:

  • King of Cambodian

Quotes

1972

“John Foster Dulles had called on me in his capacity as Secretary of State, and he had exhausted every argument to persuade me to place Cambodia under the protection of the South East Asia Treaty Organization. I refused… I considered SEATO an aggressive military alliance directed against neighbors whose ideology I did not share but with whom Cambodia had no quarrel. I had made all this quite clear to John Foster, an acidy, arrogant man, but his brother [CIA Director Allen Dulles] soon turned up with a briefcase full of documents ‘proving’ that Cambodia was about to fall victim to ‘communist aggression’ and that the only way to save the country, the monarchy and myself was to accept the protection of SEATO. The ‘proofs’ did not coincide with my own information, and I replied to Allen Dulles as I had replied to John Foster: Cambodia wanted no part of SEATO. We would look after ourselves as neutrals and Buddhists. There was nothing for the secret service chief to do but pack up his dubious documents and leave.” [Blum, 1995]

Associated Events

Norodom Sihanouk was a participant or observer in the following events:

US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles, each visit Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk and attempt to persuade him to place Cambodia under the protection of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), an alliance formed the year before by representatives of Australia, France, Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States to prevent the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. Sihanouk kindly declines the offer preferring to adopt a neutral stance in the conflict between his neighbors and the US. [Blum, 1995]

Entity Tags: Norodom Sihanouk, Allen Welsh Dulles, John Foster Dulles

Timeline Tags: US-Cambodia (1955-1993)

While Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk is on a trip abroad, his top ministers, Lon Nol and Sirik Matak, with CIA backing, usurp control of the country and immediately begin cooperating with the United States military to expel the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong presence in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot, and supported by a population terrorized by the US bombing campaign, will wage guerrilla warfare against the new government, overthrowing it in 1975 (see April 17, 1975). [Blum, 1995; Los Angeles Times, 7/8/1997]

Entity Tags: Lon Nol, Sirik Matak, Norodom Sihanouk

Timeline Tags: US-Cambodia (1955-1993)

In Cambodia, UN-administered elections lead to a new constitution and the reinstatement of Norodom Sihanouk as king. [Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2005]

Entity Tags: Norodom Sihanouk

Timeline Tags: US-Cambodia (1955-1993)

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