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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defence paper due

Defence paper due

THE long-awaited Ministry of Defence White Paper is set to be released on Feb 20

at an official ceremony at the Hotel Inter-Continental.

The document, which has been in the works for more than two years, provides a strategic

assessment of the Kingdom's security situation in the near and long-terms, outlines

what defence policy should be in light of this assessment, and describes what actions

the Ministry of Defense and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) will take in

order to implement the polices described.

Work on the White Paper was started in Nov 1998, according to Brigadier General Suon

Samnang, a member of the White Paper Working Group, which comprised representatives

from the Ministries of Defense, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Economy and Finance.

The final text was approved and signed off on by Prime Minister Hun Sen in late Dec,

2000.

"The White Paper will play a role as a policy tool guideline for the Royal Cambodian

Armed forces in fulfilling their tasks," said Samnang.

"It is a 5 to 10 year strategic plan to be implemented by the Cambodian armed

forces. The book is not planned only for a few years ahead."

Samnang also said that the White Paper would help to build mutual confidence among

countries in the region, increase transparency and assist with military reforms such

as reducing overall troop levels.

The policy document has been published in Khmer and English with an initial print

run of 800 copies for each version.

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