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PM, Nat’l Assembly talk weaponry

CAMBODIA is in the process of modernising its national defences, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday, on the same day that the National Assembly adopted articles of a law regulating chemical weapons and the substances that may be used to produce them.

Speaking during a ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Brigade 70, his personal bodyguard unit, Hun Sen said the Cambodian government “has been working to develop and modernise the national defence sector in order to give our armed forces the chance to fulfill their duties effectively”.

Parliamentarians, meanwhile, passed articles contained in six of the 13 chapters of a law relating to the regulation of chemical, nuclear and biological weapons in a relatively peaceful session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The law would make the production or transportation of such weapons punishable by sentences of 20 years to life in prison. The sale and distribution of materials that may be used to manufacture such weapons, even if the materials are being used for another purpose, will carry a steep fine if it is done without advance permission from the government.

In an appearance before the assembly, Defence Minister Tea Banh urged lawmakers to ratify these penalties, warning of the castastrophic environmental and humanitarian consequences of chemical and nuclear weapons.

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