Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom, US vow stronger ties



Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Council of Ministers permanent secretary of state Hing Thoraksy (left), US ambassador Patrick Murphy and RAC president Sok Touch. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations.

Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70 years of ties with the US and looked towards prospects.

Speakers included US ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy, Council of Ministers permanent secretary of state Hing Thoraksy, and Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch, among others.

Thorasky said he believed the Donald Trump administration, through Murphy’s diplomatic actions, will improve relations between the two countries.

He expressed hope that more US investors and tourists will invest in and visit Cambodia.

Murphy, he said, had improved relations by meeting with many ministries and institutions and he said the US ambassador maintained a clear, reasonable and non-extremist stance.

Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute director Kin Phea said US and Cambodian relations hit snags at times because of both countries’ relationships with China.

Phea said the core values of US foreign diplomacy are democracy, human rights and the rule of law. While these values are noble, Western and Asian views on democracy, he said, may differ.

He urged foreign diplomats to learn more about Cambodia’s society to better understand the Cambodian mindset.

“The most important thing is to consistently respect the principle of the UN Charter – non-interference in each other’s affairs, respect for each other’s interests, sovereignty and territorial integrities. The second is to restore lost confidence,” Phea said.

The director of the Department of America, Latin America and Oceania Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, Toek Meng, said he observed that countries that had good relations with the US tend to receive billions of dollars in investment from it.

Jonathan July, the economic and political adviser to the US Embassy, said the extent of relations between two countries could not depend on investment volume because the economic volume of each country makes a difference.

Touch said Cambodia trended towards China in its interest. “Why does Cambodia listen to China? Because China provides aid. Does the US construct hundred-storey buildings? It is China which builds them,” Touch said.

He said Cambodia would trend more towards the US if it improved investments in the Kingdom and attracted workers.

“If the US helps Cambodia with the agriculture sector, where 70 per cent of Cambodians work, the US will have an influence on the government,” he said.

Murphy said democracy is a constant work-in-progress and expressed hope that Cambodians will have a voice in shaping the Kingdom’s future.

“Now, our greatest source of pride in the relationship between the US and Cambodia are our people to people ties,” he said.

He said he looked forward to increasing understanding between the two countries, boosting trade and inviting more Cambodians to study in the US.

Murphy said he will support efforts to protect Cambodia’s multi-party democracy and sovereignty while working with the Kingdom to maintain an open and free Indo-Pacific region. He said he’d also support Cambodia as it takes its turn as ASEAN chair in 2022.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to