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US Senator Webb set for Cambodia visit

US Senator Webb set for Cambodia visit

US Senator Jim Webb, fresh from meeting with Myanmar head of state Than Shwe and securing the release of American prisoner John Yettaw, is to visit Cambodia today as part of a two-week, five-nation tour of Southeast Asia.

Webb left Myanmar with Yettaw on Sunday and flew to Bangkok, where he was to stay the night before arriving in Phnom Penh this afternoon.
A critic of US sanctions against Myanmar that were renewed by US President Barack Obama in late July, Webb said it is "vitally important that the United States re-engage with Southeast Asia at all levels" in a statement prior to arriving in Laos to kick off his trip last week.

Although he will be in Cambodia for just a few hours, Webb, the chairman of the US Senate's East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, plans to meet with senior Cambodian officials before flying on to Vietnam.

Webb is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War who served as secretary of the navy under president Ronald Reagan and speaks Vietnamese.

He was mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for Barack Obama during US elections last year before withdrawing himself from consideration to focus on Senate duties.

The last US senator to visit Cambodia was Maria Cantwell from Washington state, who visited in November 2007.

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