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Mending ties? CMAC will bid for new US funding

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CMAC director Heng Ratana (centre right) meets with US representatives on Friday. Facebook

Mending ties? CMAC will bid for new US funding

The director of the Cambodia Mine Action Centre confirmed his organisation would bid for funding from the US government after annual support was stripped amid escalating tensions between the two governments.

“We will participate in the bidding process,” CMAC head Heng Ratana said, explaining the body would bid for a newly announced US demining grant indirectly through a partner, Norwegian People’s Aid. Asked if he thought CMAC was likely to receive funding, Ratana said it was “hard to say”.

Funding was stripped during a dispute with the US Embassy in which America accused Ratana and other Cambodian officials of politicising the discovery of American-made Vietnam War-era chemical weapons in Svay Rieng.
Ratana said yesterday that experts from the international Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons would visit Cambodia this month.

Chey Son, of the National Authority on Chemical Weapons, said the experts would “come in late December, and plan to visit Mondulkiri, Tbong Khmum and Svay Rieng”.

The OPCW did not respond to emails and the US Embassy declined to comment.

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