Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU will cut ties, Rainsy claims

EU will cut ties, Rainsy claims

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sam Rainsy (second from left) with three members of the European Parliament from the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Petras Austrevicius of Lithuania (far left), Hans van Baalen of the Netherlands (second from right) and Javier Nart Peñalver of Spain. Facebook

EU will cut ties, Rainsy claims

Will the European Union (EU) cut ties with Cambodia? That question is shaping up to be among the bigger ones being asked ahead of the July 29 national elections.

After severely criticising the government’s human rights record, its shuttering of independent news outlets and the court-dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the EU will almost assuredly withdraw from most of the agreements it has made with the Kingdom, or so says the former CNRP president, Sam Rainsy.

In a two-minute video clip posted on Tuesday, Rainsy, who was speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, after meeting EU leaders, said he was told by those at the meeting that Prime Minister Hun Sen had gone to lengths to damage relations between it and Cambodia.

“At the European Parliament, I just met with the EU’s leaders, who told me that Hun Sen’s government has broken cooperation agreements, which required Cambodia to follow the democratic path.

“But by dissolving the CNRP and banning it from competing in the elections, Hun Sen has lost the confidence of the EU as the government prepares a fake and a joke of an election,” Rainsy claimed.

Despite living in exile to avoid arrest for a host of convictions, Rainsy said it wasn’t he who was the criminal.

Hun Sen ‘an outlaw’

“Hun Sen killed Cambodia’s democracy, so Hun Sen made himself an outlaw, and now his government is considered an outlaw by the EU,” Rainsy claimed.

“The EU cannot continue to cooperate with Cambodia like before. The mistake was [that] Hun Sen used authoritarian measures to kill democracy,” he said.

Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said he doesn’t believe the EU intends to end cooperation with the Kingdom.

He labelled Rainsy’s remarks as a lie meant to deceive the people, and noted that, as an international bloc, the EU would have difficulty ending cooperation agreements with Cambodia because not all member states would support such a move.

“Despite his opinion of the EU position . . . and I believe it is his right to express his opinion on the situation in Cambodia, the content of his comments do not fit the actual situation in the Kingdom,” Eysan said.

“I understand that [ending any agreement with Cambodia] is the EU’s right, but I think it is a bit difficult because some countries in the EU still stand up to support the proper actions [taken by] the Royal Government of Cambodia.”

Political analyst Hang Vitou said he had not received any official information about the breaking of relations between Cambodia and the EU, but if such a decision were to be made, there would be serious problems for the Kingdom.

This, he said, included the EU’s rejection of the election results and the possibility of post-election economic sanctions.

“If such things really happened, it would have a severe affect” on the Kingdom, Vitou said.

Efforts on Wednesday to reach the EU’s Cambodian delegation were in vain.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Vietnamese workers in Koh Kong questioned

    The General Department of Immigration (GDI) is questioning 49 Vietnamese nationals who were working illegally in Koh Kong province to build a case and send them back to Vietnam, its Department of Investigation and Procedure director Kem Sarin said on Thursday. GDI forces and provincial authorities

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism