Just as Prime Minister Hun Manet was receiving a warm welcome in New York City during his visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78), the US embassy in Phnom Penh celebrated people-to-people ties during its “America-Cambodia Friendship Week 2023”.

Ambassador W Patrick Murphy led an embassy delegation of more than 60 American diplomats to Siem Reap province from September 18-22 to showcase and highlight the bilateral relations, partnerships and programmes that contribute to the ties between the two nations.

“The weeklong schedule of outreach activities, official visits and engagement with local partners in Siem Reap is a continuation of America-Cambodia 2023 Friendship – a celebration of enduring people-to-people ties and opportunity to foster areas for cooperation between the US and Cambodia,” said an embassy press release.

It explained that as a demonstration of the US’ commitment to all Cambodian people, the delegation engaged with Siem Reap partners and stakeholders in public health, education, culture, business, youth, demining, law enforcement and security.

“We are the US embassy to all of Cambodia’s 25 [capital and] provinces,” said Murphy. “We are thrilled to bring our team here to the northern provinces where we have a plethora of programmes and engagements with local partners on the ground.”

America-Cambodia Friendship Week included officials from the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of Defense, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and several other agencies which are represented at the embassy.

Murphy and the embassy delegation’s engagements included meetings with provincial administration officials, a town hall discussion with American citizens living in Siem Reap, an interaction with university students benefiting from improved IT curricula and the launch of a programme which seeks to empower women and youth through sports.

The delegation hosted a large reception on September 20 in Siem Reap to celebrate its partners, US government exchange programme alumni, and other key interlocutors, who are critical to maintaining the enduring ties between Cambodia and the US, explained the press release.