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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - London embassy goes on offensive over US ambassador's remarks

London embassy goes on offensive over US ambassador's remarks

Ambassador Hor Nambora adds to criticisms of Carol Rodley, warning foreign embassies not to meddle in Cambodia's internal affairs.

CAMBODIA'S ambassador to Great Britain has joined the chorus of government officials calling for US Ambassador Carol Rodley to clarify recent comments that Cambodia loses US$500 million a year to corruption.

In a letter dated Thursday, Ambassador Hor Nambora said Rodley's comments, made during the Clean Hands anti-corruption concert in Phnom Penh on May 30, contradicted the "new approach" to US foreign policy ushered in by the Obama administration.

"While you are of course entitled to your personal opinions, the danger of expressing them publicly is that they can be interpreted as being politically motivated, which immediately compromises your reputation as an impartial observer of Cambodia and [an] honoured guest," he said in the letter.  

"I hope that you will now reconsider your remarks, which appear to have been based on misinformation, and take urgent steps to clarify your position."

The US Embassy has so far declined to comment.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said Sunday that the ambassador's point of view undermined the existing good relationship between Phnom Penh and Washington.

"Our diplomat's letter was just a warning not to take strong action to interfere in the internal affairs of the Cambodian government," he said. "[It] was also a message to other embassies in Phnom Penh."

Four members of PACT Cambodia and the People's Centre for Development and Peace, which organised the concert, were questioned at City Hall on Thursday, but would not comment when contacted Sunday.

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