Diplomacy Change of Course

The U.S. does an about-face on its Cambodia policy, paving the way for talks with Vietnam

As Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze disappeared behind closed doors in Paris last week, the expectation was that they would work out some new approach to the problem of Afghanistan. But when Baker emerged two hours later, few were ready for the announcement he made.

Reversing a position that dates back to the Carter White House, Baker said the U.S. would withdraw diplomatic recognition of the Cambodian resistance coalition that includes the Khmer Rouge and would open talks with Vietnam about a Cambodian settlement. Officials in Washington and Moscow were caught off guard; diplomats in...

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