Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US lawmakers meet with foreign minister



US lawmakers meet with foreign minister

Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn (left) greets US Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn (left) greets US Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. Heng Chivoan

US lawmakers meet with foreign minister

Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn met with two US congressmen yesterday, discussing ongoing disagreements between the two nations while also stressing their “good relationship”.

Sokhonn met members of the House Appropriations Committee, including Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen and Representative Pete Aguilar. Neither congressman took questions after the meeting.

“The prime minister wants to have a good relationship with the US,” said ministry spokesman Chum Sounry after the meeting.

After stressing the positives, Sounry acknowledged there have been “some disagreements” – including repeated assertions over the last year by the ruling party that the US is behind an opposition-led plot to overthrow the government.

Tensions also flared between the two countries when the Kingdom decided to no longer accept deported Cambodians living in the US – many of whom fled Cambodia as refugees.

In response, America issued visa bans against Foreign Affairs officials, and Cambodia summarily suspended its cooperation in the ongoing search for the remains of American soldiers missing since the Vietnam War.

In response to the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, and the arrest of its leader Kem Sokha, the US suspended election funding and has imposed partial visa bans.

“The minister expressed concern that the decision of the US to ban the visas for Cambodians is not proper when the two countries are in a good relationship,” Sounry said.

He did not mention the government’s accusations of US-backed attempts at revolution.

Yesterday, Sokhonn repeated his pledge that assistance in the search for remains of missing Americans would resume as soon as visa bans are lifted – a “humanitarian” issue that Sounry said is very important to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The US Embassy declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could