Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong. FACEBOOK

Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement.

The EU launched the EBA withdrawal procedure on February 12, citing “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights” in Cambodia.

The commission completed its report on Tuesday after a three-month investigation that ended on August 12 and has given the government one month to respond.

Ministry spokesman Kuy Kuong said the government would study the report before making an official response.

“The ministry received the report [on Tuesday] and will study it first,” he said.

EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Tuesday said the EU would make its final decision in February.

‘The EU is not our boss’

“We have completed our report on the temporary suspension of trade preferences to Cambodia.

“We are very concerned about the human rights situation there. The Cambodians now have one month to respond and we will make our final decision in February next year,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan on Wednesday said Cambodia would continue to explain to the EU the actual human rights situation in the Kingdom and the government’s efforts in

promoting democracy through various reforms.

“The EU is not our boss, nor is Cambodia its colony. We are partners so we will continue our dialogue as such. In this manner, we talk and make joint assessments. Cambodia has explained all the points that the EU is concerned about.

“In this partnership, the EU cannot dictate us to do this or that. They express their concerns and we tell them what we have done [to address them].

“With regard to human rights, we have continued to address the issue through various reforms. We have a human rights commission to assess all legal aspects concerning human rights in implementing laws,” Siphan said.

In a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn on November 8, the new EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno expressed hope that Cambodia would be able to maintain EBA access.

Kin Phea, the director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on Wednesday that new developments concerning Kem Sokha showed a change in the political situation in Cambodia.

“It will bring positive developments, but we don’t know clearly what influence it will have on the EBA agreement,” Phea said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday reduced the bail conditions of Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Sokha more than two years after he was charged with treason.

Sokha’s new bail conditions allow him to travel anywhere within the country but forbid him from being involved in politics.

Ou Chanrath, a former CNRP lawmaker, said the government had made efforts to show the EU that it wanted to maintain EBA access, with the court easing Sokha’s bail conditions.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway