Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday weighed in with his opinion on the United States’ dilemma between fighting the Islamic State while also continuing to support moves to bring down Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Speaking at the annual Cambodia Outlook Conference yesterday, the premier strayed off-topic to recall how he had offered advice to US President Barack Obama during an ASEAN summit in Myanmar last November.
“I talked with President Obama and I told [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon to consider that if one hand attacks ISIS and the other hand attacks Assad, the mathematics of it will mean that 1-1 = 0,” Hun Sen said, seemingly backing the idea that US-led airstrikes in Syria against IS, also known as ISIS, may help al-Assad maintain power.
He also painted himself as a world leader willing to “speak frankly” about such tough foreign policy issues.
“With world leaders, there are people who dare to talk and people who do not dare to talk. At ASEAN in Naypyidaw, no one [dared to talk], which forced Hun Sen to speak with [Obama and Ban] about the attacks on ISIS.”