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Biden praises Cambodia's leadership of ASEAN amid crises

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US President Joe Biden met Prime Minister Hun Sen during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh. SPM

Biden praises Cambodia's leadership of ASEAN amid crises

US President Joe Biden on November 12 thanked the Cambodian government for reaffirming its strong opposition against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as he met Prime Minister Hun Sen during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh.

According to Hun Sen’s personal assistant Eang Sophalleth, Biden also told the premier that the ASEAN Community is of vital importance to the US, especially to his administration, and that Washington supports the centrality of the regional bloc.

Biden commended Cambodia as the chair of ASEAN for striving to resolve the ongoing Myanmar crisis in a bid to help the country return to normalcy.

In response, Hun Sen thanked Biden for attending the summit in Phnom Penh. His presence, the premier said, highlighted the US' attention to ASEAN and the great significance it attaches to the bloc.

Hun Sen briefed Biden on Cambodia's cooperation with Japan in helping Ukraine with demining training and in opposing the threat, let alone the use, of nuclear weapons.

Hun Sen also thanked the US for returning looted artefacts to Cambodia, noting that it is the "number one" country in helping repatriate artefacts looted from Cambodia.

According to a press statement released by the White House after the bilateral meeting, Biden lauded Cambodia's leadership of the intergovernmental organisation amid a "challenging year".

Biden also renewed the US' concerns about the Ream Naval Base and urged "full transparency" surrounding activities there. He also urged the government to ensure a favourable atmosphere in the lead-up to the 2023 general election.

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