221. Telegram From the Embassy in Cambodia to the Department of State 1

6116. Subject: E&E. Ref: (A) State 81634;2 (B) Phnom Penh 6111.3

Regarding the idea that a “handful” of the American staff should stay on a while longer in order to help the GKR go through their last days (para 3 reftel A), I believe this would be foolhardy unless we have clear indication from the KC side that they would respect the diplomatic status of these personnel. It is my understanding that the International Red Cross and UNICEF have somehow received some indication from the other side that they will not be harmed if they stay behind. Some, very few, officials of these two agencies are remaining in Phnom Penh on the basis of this guarantee. Unless we have obtained in advance the same guarantee for our personnel I think we would run the risk of turning over hostages to the KC and I would not be carrying out what I have been told (reftel A) to do, i.e., “Your first priority is to get Americans out safely.”
Since for a number of weeks I have been told to keep completely out of internal Khmer deliberations regarding the future of the GKR and how they might try to work out an arrangement with the other side, I fail to understand what the role of the “stay-behind” group would be, other than to report on what is going on.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for East Asia and the Pacific, Box 4, Cambodia, State Department Telegrams, To SECSTATE, Nodis (6). Secret; Niact; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. Document 215.
  3. Document 216.