PHNOM PENH, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United States renewed Wednesday its call for Cambodia's ruling and opposition parties to resume talks over post-election dispute, spokesmen for both sides said.
Scot Marciel, visiting Principal Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, made the push during a meeting with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong.
"Again, the U.S. encouraged both parties -- the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP)-- to return to the negotiating table and talk about how to begin implementing reforms that are necessary for the benefit of the Cambodian people,"Sean McIntosh, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, told reporters after the meeting.
According to spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Koy Kuong, Scot Marciel told Hor Namhong that the U.S. did not side with any party and always supported nonviolent demonstrations in Cambodia.
"Scot Marciel urged both sides to resume negotiations in order to seek a peaceful solution to the issue,"Koy Kuong told reporters."He also encouraged the two parties to settle their differences by themselves."
Hor Namhong said the ruling CPP's door is still open for negotiations with the opposition over the dispute.
He reiterated that the opposition CNRP should join the National Assembly if it really wanted to debate towards an electoral reform or a re-election.
According to the nation's constitution, the National Assembly cannot be dissolved before a five-year term ends, Hor Namhong said, adding that the opposition's demand for a re-vote or an early election needs to be amended in the constitution.
"If there is any amendment to the constitution, it is necessary for both sides to sit down and debate in the National Assembly," he said."So the opposition should join the National Assembly to debate on these matters."
Political row between Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling CPP and the CNRP, led by longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy, has persisted since July's election results showed that the CPP won 68 parliamentary seats and the CNRP got 55.
Claiming serious irregularities, the CNRP refused to accept the results and has boycotted parliament and held many protests -- some of them turned violent -- to demand the resignation of Hun Sen and a re-vote.
The leaders of the two parties met twice in September in a bid to resolve their political differences, but the talks failed to reach any agreements.
Scot Marciel also met with CNRP's Vice President Kem Sokha on Wednesday.