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MP urges border talks on sidelines of ASEAN

Suspended opposition lawmaker Um Sam An has appealed to Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong to discuss recent border disputes when he meets with his Vietnamese counterpart during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of an Asean summit in Kuala Lumpur scheduled for next week.

“I don’t have any official statement, but the government must be strong-willed to raise the ongoing border issues with Vietnam, because so far, Vietnam has not responded to any diplomatic notes,” said Sam An, a Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker who has led several rallies around the Cambodia-Vietnam border in recent months.

“I think that if the Cambodian foreign minister fails to raise the border issue with Vietnam, it would mean the government does not pay strong attention to its border sovereignty, and it would show weakness in diplomatic affairs.”

Sam An’s call followed the release of a press statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ yesterday, which said Namhong would lead a delegation to the August 3-6 Asean summit in Malaysia and meet with a host of other officials from around the region.

In addition to Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Namhong will hold meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Chum Sounry, the newly appointed spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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