Ministry of Foreign Affairs says agencies cannot charge
Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement Tuesday to explain the
role of the newly established Association of People Protection (APP) in
facilitating marriages between Cambodians and foreigners, stating that
foreigners need not become members of the association or pay any money
"in order to be eligible for marriage with Cambodian citizens".
statement, addressed to accredited diplomatic missions, does not name
APP explicitly but states that any intermediary agency accepting money
in exchange for processing foreign marriage applications would be in
violation of government regulations.
Koy Kuong, an
undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said
ministry officials sent the release to foreign embassies to clear up
any confusion stemming from the actions of APP. He said that late last
year, after the lifting of a seven-month ban on foreign marriages, APP
falsely advertised itself as the only association through which foreign
marriage applications could be processed.
But Ha Tai Jun,
adviser to the APP, said the association's original licence from the
Ministry of Interior, issued December 12, 2008, stipulated that it
actually was the only association that could process foreign marriage
applications and that any foreigner looking to marry a Cambodian needed
In an interview with the Post Wednesday, he said
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng issued APP a "corrected" license on
January 15 stipulating that joining the association was not a
prerequisite for processing a foreign marriage application and that it
could not charge for its services.
Ha Tai Jun said he believed
the licences were changed after South Korea's embassy in Cambodia took
issue with the original arrangement. No one at the embassy was
available for comment Wednesday.
In a letter Friday to the
Post, a Ministry of Interior official cited an article of the subdecree
dealing with foreign marriages that prohibits any marriage arranged
through an agency, broker or commercial enterprise.