Statement on Signing the Bill Supporting the Restoration of a Free and Independent Cambodia


October 18, 1988


I have today signed H.J. Res. 602, which expresses congressional support for the restoration of a free and independent Cambodia, the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from that country, and the protection of the Cambodian people from a return to power by the Khmer Rouge. I welcome this clear statement of principles on a subject on which we are all in agreement.


I note that the Resolution is properly cast in admonitory terms and accordingly must be interpreted as a nonbinding expression of the sense of the Congress. I disagree with the wording of certain clauses, which, as written, could complicate our efforts to work with other governments to achieve the objective we all seek: to prevent the Khmer Rouge from ever again being in a position of absolute authority from which to wage its rule of terror over the Cambodian people. I have, however, signed this legislation because it makes clear that the United States will continue to do everything possible to assure that the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia is brought to an end and that effective guarantees are put into place to prevent the Khmer Rouge from ever again taking control of Cambodia.


Ronald Reagan


The White House,


October 18, 1988.


Note: H.J. Res. 602, approved October 18, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 502.