The US State Department called on Cambodia to heed the recommendations of UN special rapporteur Surya Subedi and said it would keep a close eye on the Kingdom in the lead-up to the 2013 general elections, a letter obtained yesterday reveals.
Sent on behalf of US President Barack Obama, the letter responds to a damning call in October by US lawmakers for pressure over Cambodia’s rights record.
In the December 4 reply, assistant secretary of legislative affairs David Adams highlighted the issues raised by Obama during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen on the sidelines of ASEAN.
“He called Cambodia’s lack of respect for fundamental freedoms an ‘impediment’ to a deeper bilateral relationship. He emphasised that countries that do not uphold certain universal principles, such as respect for human rights, will have more difficulty integrating with the international community,” wrote Adams, adding silencing talk about land disputes and illegal logging was concerning.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at [email protected]