Cambodian Premier Receives U.S. Secretary of State

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen held a talk here yesterday with U.S. Secretary of State H.E. Mrs. Hillary Clinton at the Peace Palace.

During the talk, Mrs. Hillary Clinton expressed her appreciation to the Cambodia-U.S.’ relations and cooperation and her will to boost more bilateral cooperation, H.E. Ieng Sophalet, Assistant to the Cambodian premier told reporters after the talk.

Ms. Hillary Clinton also stressed on the U.S.’ initiatives to further deepen the U.S.-ASEAN and U.S-Cambodia relations on disaster management, economy, trade, investment and education, especially the English language training, the assistant said.

On the issue of the South China Sea, Mrs. Hillary Clinton said the U.S. hoped that ASEAN would create effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, he said.

U.S. Secretary Clinton also thanked Cambodia for its support to the U.S.’ initiative for the development of the Lower Mekong Region and also informed Samdech Techo Hun Sen that on Friday she will announce the US$50 million development assistance for the region.

In addition, Mrs. Hillary Clinton also highlighted the security cooperation between the U.S. and Cambodia, saying that the U.S. is willing to expand the security cooperation with Cambodia. She also welcomed the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone initiative.

She further said she brought along a large U.S. businessmen delegation with her and there will be a U.S. business forum on July 13 in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap. She also affirmed that the U.S. will continue to support the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

For his part, Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed profound thanks to the U.S for its support to Cambodia, especially during the devastating floods in 2011. He highly valued the U.S.’ Lower Mekong Initiative, stressing that it is a just initiative, which will not only help preventing the region from flooding, but also contribute to the ASEAN integration, the ASEAN’s main aim towards the ASEAN Community Building in 2015, according to the premier’s assistant.

Related to the South China Sea issue, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said there is no other better way besides the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), he said.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his delight and warm welcome to the U.S. businessmen delegation to Cambodia, and thanked the U.S. side for its continued support to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

The Cambodian prime minister shared the same idea with H.E. Mrs. Hillary Clinton over the ASEAN connectivity, in particular in both soft and hard infrastructure, saying that if it fails, the ASEAN will not be integrated.

As scheduled, during her stay in Cambodia from July 11-14, H.E. Mrs. Hillary Clinton attended the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday, and will join the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum due to be held today in Phnom Penh. On Friday, she will attend and feature the keynote remarks on the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy Dialogue for the Lower Mekong Initiative in Siem Reap.

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