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Seven envoys for seven countries

Long Visalo, Cambodia’s new ambassador to Thailand, at a meeting discussing the Cambodia-Vietnam border late last year.
Long Visalo, Cambodia’s new ambassador to Thailand, at a meeting discussing the Cambodia-Vietnam border late last year. Heng Chivoan

Seven envoys for seven countries

Cambodia has appointed seven new ambassadors to foreign countries, according to a royal decree dated December 23.

Long Visalo, currently secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be the new ambassador to Thailand. His son, Long Dimanche, was ap-pointed ambassador to South Korea earlier this year.

Khoun Phon Ratanak, an undersecretary of state, and Cheng Manith, head of the Department of International Cooperation, will take over the embassies in Indonesia and Laos, respectively, while Nguon Sokveng, head of the ministry’s Asia Department, will be ambassador in Singapore.

Tuoch Sopharath, head of the department of Mekong Cooperation, will serve as ambassador to Germany, while Soeung Rath Chavy, a secretary of state, will be based in the UK. Sin Bun Thoeun, now head of the department of Africa Middle East, will serve in North Korea.

With the exception of Ambassador to Indonesia Norng Sakal, who had served since May 2015, all of the outgoing ambassadors began their terms in early or mid-2014. “This is a routine change according to the principle of a three-year mandate,” MFA spokesman Sounry said, adding that no date for the beginning of their terms has been set.

Rath Chavy told The Post yesterday she is excited about her new position in the UK and said the recent Brexit vote there represented both challenges and opportunities.

“I will try to fulfill my obligation … especially [now that] the United Kingdom just announced to leave the EU, there are problems ahead. There is also an opportunity … to increase bilateral [agreements] between Cambodia and the UK,” she said.

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