CAMBODIAN TALKS LEAVE RIFTS

After two days of talks here, sharp differences remain among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council over settlement of Cambodia's war. Some agreement was reached on how an eventual UN administration of Cambodia would work, and how some degree of Cambodian sovereignty would be ensured. But disagreements persist over what to do with various military forces during the UN administration and over the presence of foreign troops in Cambodia.

``Significant progress was made in a number of areas,'' said a senior US administration official close to the talks, ``but there remain significant differences'' as well.

The five Security Council members - the United States, the Soviet Union, China, France, and Britain - agreed that a UN transitional authority should be established, among other things, to keep the country operating at national and local levels and to ensure human rights.

The five agreed to meet again before mid-May in New York and to meet with the four Cambodian factions when ``conditions are ripe.''

On human rights, the US official said the talks skirted the issue of the Khmer Rouge's ``genocidal'' activity during its 1975-79 reign. In the interest of moving forward, the five delegations decided for now to ``look to the future rather than get tangled up in the past,'' he said.

How to deal with that history - and thus the Khmer Rouge - remains at the heart of why past Cambodian negotiations have failed, analysts say. The US has come under increasing pressure at home for what is viewed as its support for a Khmer Rouge role in the negotiations.

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