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Discussing the economy and internal policies, General Lon Nol said that his Government intended to do more for the people. He reported the support of the country intellectuals and foresaw that through the people should not be in a hurry, there would be more democracy and no return to "personal power."
Cheng heng, taking his oath of office as the provisional Chief of State in Cambodia.
The New York Times, Tuesday March 24, 1970 Phnom Penh, General Said today that his government was determined to recoveer the nation's "active neutrality" through the removal of North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops. Speaking in an interview, he disclosed that the delegation of Vietcong's provisional revolutionary government of South Vietnam admitted in talks with his Government last week that Vietcong troops were in Cambodia, which has been used as a haven in the Vietnam war. The talks with Vietnamese Communists will be continued he said, with the aim of setting the dispute peacefully. Since the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk as Chief of State last Wednesday, there have been scattered reports of clashes between the Vietcong and Cambodian forces. He said, popular approval for the actions against Prince Sihanook had been taken, he insisted repeatedly by the two houses of the National Assembly in accordance with the constitution. General Lon Nol said "we did not force the hand" of Parliament, adding later: "Remember, we have been surprised ourselves by these events". Asked about charges that the Central Intelligence Agency had been behind Prince Sihanook's ouster, the General shrugged and said: "our position is the Geneva agreement, and it specifies that we are simply neutral. At this crucial moment for our country we are again asking for the Geneva agreement. But if you want to be precise, I tell you we have never had any contacts with any foreigners, not only the C.I.A. but with no other foreigners either." General Lon Nol added that his Government had decided to inform the United Nations members about the situation here and about Cambodia's desire to settle the issue of Vietnamese forces through negotiations. General Lon Nol vigorously insisted that the "Whole story" of the change power last week lay in the fact that Cambodia's stand of neutrality, sovereignty and territorial integrity belonged to all her people "and it was rather Prince ---"