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EC review raises KRT graft

EC review raises KRT graft

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090304_01.jpg

The delegation also raised the issue of food security during annual review of bilateral cooperation.

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HENG CHIVOAN

Members of the European Commission confer during a press conference on Tuesday evening.   

DELEGATES from the European Commission met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong on Tuesday for an annual review of bilateral cooperation between the two bodies.

James Moran, director for Asia in the EC's Directorate-General for External Relations, told reporters at a press conference after the meeting that the EC would continue to support the Khmer Rouge tribunal so long as allegations are "sorted out".

"It's no secret ... everybody knows about these allegations.... We want to continue [funding], but we have to be accountable to our own taxpayers," he said.

"There needs to be a resolution as soon as possible [to the issue of corruption], and this must be sorted out," he added.

The delegation also discussed a new US$17 million "food facility" program, which will provide support to Cambodia to "strengthen food security and the livelihoods of the most vulnerable", a press release stated.

It congratulated Cambodia on securing "peace and political stability" and achieving significant economic growth.

"We will work with Cambodia to continue the progress in all aspects of the country's development through constructive dialogue and partnership," it added.

Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said that human rights issues should be a higher priority for the body's ongoing work in the Kingdom.

"I think that the European Union must engage more with the government to have a frank dialogue rather than discussing topics with language that ignores the ongoing abuse of human rights in Cambodia," he said.

"I wish that the influence of the EU and other countries could help resolve the issue of human rights abuse by having a truthful dialogue with the government," he added. 

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