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PM vows to keep out Islamic State

Prime Minister Hun Sen talks to delegates at the 8th Asian Parliamentary Assembly at the Sokha Hotel yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Prime Minister Hun Sen talks to delegates at the 8th Asian Parliamentary Assembly at the Sokha Hotel yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

PM vows to keep out Islamic State

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday cautioned against complacency in the global fight against the so-called Islamic State, pledging that Cambodia would not become a safe country for jihadists plotting to attack countries in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the eighth plenary session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly yesterday, Hun Sen – who has previously invoked the group in defending a controversial NGO law and highlighting the perils of changing governments – said Asian parliaments should re-examine policies on fighting terrorism following attacks in Paris, Egypt and California.

“I hope that legislatures in our region will help governments to re-examine policies for fighting terrorism, because currently, we have separate anti-terrorism laws, and disputes between nations have become an obstacle to anti-terrorism efforts,” he said.

“We should shelve some disputes for a while in order to jointly fight against terrorism,” he added, without explaining which disputes he was referring to.

While Cambodia was not aware of any IS members entering its territory, it should not ignore the possibility that jihadists would seek to use the country as a base of operations to carry out strikes in other Southeast Asian countries, he said.

IS “could see Cambodia as a safe place to hide, therefore we need to be careful”.

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