Foreign ministers of Southeast Asia's noncommunist nations, meeting today amid tight security, began to hammer out joint positions on the Cambodian conflict and on economic issues to discuss with President Reagan.
Reagan, due here Tuesday night for a three-day stop before flying to an economic summit in Tokyo, is the object of extraordinary security measures. Troops manning roadblocks around the seaside hotel resort complex where he is to stay have closed off the area to most traffic, while warships patrol the waters beyond his beachfront suite. A ban on unauthorized vehicles forced three busloads of Japanese tourists to lug their baggage nearly a mile last night to their hotel near the one awaiting the Reagan party.
The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their senior aides, meanwhile, began discussing an eight-point proposal to end the conflict in Cambodia pitting Vietnamese occupation forces against Cambodian resistance guerrillas. ASEAN includes Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
The eight-point proposal was put forward last month by a three-party resistance coalition headed by Prince Norodom Sihanouk. It calls for a two-stage withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia and a coalition government involving the three resistance groups and a communist faction under President Heng Samrin that was installed in power in Phnom Penh by Vietnamese invasion forces in 1979.
Vietnam promptly rejected the proposal on grounds that it meant recognition of Sihanouk's coalition, which includes the widely reviled Khmer Rouge communists who ruled earlier.
The proposal has been greeted with varying degrees of enthusiasm by the ASEAN members. Indonesia, which has the closest relationship with Vietnam among the six, is reportedly the least enthusiastic.
If agreement is reached on a joint endorsement of the eight-point plan, the foreign ministers may seek a strong expression of support for it when they meet Reagan Thursday, ASEAN officials said.
The main aim of such a statement would be to put Vietnam on the diplomatic defensive, they said. No change in the Vietnamese position is expected, although some optimists in ASEAN hold out hope for a softening of Hanoi's position if a new leadership emerges from a Vietnamese communist party congress scheduled for the end of this year.
According to Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasyim Djalal, ASEAN also is preparing two memoranda for Reagan on economic issues. One will be "input to the Tokyo economic summit" setting out the group's hopes for help in attaining economic recovery, and the second will cover the region's economic problems with the United States, notably concerns about the prevailing "protectionist mood" in America, Djalal said.