Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘US embassy should pack up and leave if unhappy’

‘US embassy should pack up and leave if unhappy’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Phay Siphan speaks at a press conference on Thursday. Heng Chivoan

‘US embassy should pack up and leave if unhappy’

Government spokesman Phay Siphan on Thursday dared US embassy officials in Phnom Penh to “pack up” and leave the country if they were not happy with the Kingdom.

Speaking during a press conference under the theme One Year Achievements after the Elections at the Council of Ministers on Thursday, Siphan said regardless of diplomatic relations, Cambodia would not tolerate any interference in its internal affairs.

“We remain friends, but if the [US] officials are not happy with Cambodia, then pack up and leave. We do not welcome them. The embassy officials who have been cruel [to Cambodia] should stop this. This is our request,” he said.

“We resolve [issues] in a diplomatic manner. We don’t deal with problems the way lawless people do. Those people [US embassy officials] keep running off their mouths and inciting others. They like to use force in a cruel way.

“For us, we only resort to diplomacy. We handle issues based on the Constitution, national and Asean principles . .  . US embassy officials are lawless and provocative,” he stressed.

Siphan’s stern remarks came two days after the US embassy criticised last year’s national elections as “deeply flawed”.

On its Facebook page, the embassy said the elections were neither free nor fair and did not represent the will of Cambodians.

In its statement, the embassy also called for the dropping of all charges against the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Kem Sokha, who has been placed on court supervised bail on charges of treason.

Siphan noted that the absence of a US ambassador to Cambodia had caused difficulties in communications between the two countries.

He said the embassy’s latest criticism constituted an incitement and a violation of Cambodian sovereignty.

He warned that Cambodia would not be reluctant to “destroy” any groups found to undermine peace, stability and [public] order in the Kingdom.

“[Cambodia’s] friends should not be trying to sabotage the rights, freedom and democracy here. We request [those friends] to consider Cambodia their younger sister who has just reached adulthood. Don’t bother us, we don’t allow anyone to violate us.”

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin on Thursday said the US’ appeal for the dropping of the treason charge against Sokha, which it deemed politically motivated, would not hold sway.

“The court is an independent body. No group or institution or diplomat can order the court of this sovereign state to release or drop any charges. It’s impossible,” he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also took issue with the US on Wednesday.

In a statement, the ministry said it was deeply disappointed that the US had politicised the national elections, which it said was legitimate and represented the will of the people.

“It is with great surprise and disappointment to note another undiplomatic and disrespectful behaviour of the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh toward Cambodia as the host country.

“Through its official Facebook post on July 30, the embassy spread misrepresented comments, openly attacking the integrity of Cambodia’s general elections in 2018.

“Such a flagrantly offensive move in violation of the provisions of the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is least expected from the mission representing a civilised country.”

As of press time, the US Embassy in Cambodia did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,