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Cambodia and Philippines clash in diplomatic feud

A diplomatic scrap between Phnom Penh and Manila that has seen both sides trading barbs through the press was exacerbated further yesterday after the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs publicly “summonsed” the Cambodian ambassador.

The Philippines Star reported Hos Sereythonh had been summonsed in response to an article by the ambassador in the same paper on Monday – itself a retort to an editorial by an official at the Philippines DFA.

Cambodia subsequently “invited” Philippines Charge D’Affairs Jose Cabrera III for a visit so he could relate Cambodia’s grievances about this public summons, Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday.

“The summons by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines was also published in the Philippines newspaper, was published on the front page, and then the summons has been posted on the front gate of the Cambodian embassy in Manila,” he said.

A feud has festered between the two countries since talks broke down at last month’s ASEAN summit over issues related to the contested waters of the South China Sea.

Hos Sereythonh reportedly balked at the summons, in­­stead sending a deputy.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said diplomatic language used by Cambodia in its spat had been unhelpful.

Because the situation had become “serious”, now he said it was time to move on.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Boyle at david.boyle@phnompenhpost.com

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