Posts filed under ‘Politics’

Official: U.S. not to interfere in Cambodian-Thai border dispute

PHNOM PENH, March 18 (Xinhua) — The U.S. has affirmed that it will not interfere in the Cambodia-Thailand border dispute, said official news agency the Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) on Wednesday.

“The U.S. has never intervened in the border issues between the two neighboring countries,” Stephen Blake, director of the Mainland Southeast Asia Bureau Office of the U.S. State Department, was quoted as saying.

The U.S. is instead encouraging both sides to solve their conflict peacefully, he said during a lecture named “Southeast Asia Politics and U.S. Policy in the Region,” which was held here on Tuesday.

The Cambodian-Thai border conflict started on July 15, 2008, when Thai troops encroached on the Cambodian territory in the area near the disputed centuries-old Preah Vihear temple.

Rounds of high-level talks have been held since then, and both sides decided to withhold armed conflicts and stick to peaceful solutions.

Editor: Deng Shasha

March 19, 2009 at 4:18 am 3 comments

U.S. to donate $600,000 in military aid for Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — The United States plans to donate more than 600,000 U.S. dollars in “non-lethal” military aid to Cambodia in 2009, national media on Tuesday quoted U.S. Embassy spokesman as saying.

    The United States expects to give 635,000 U.S. dollars in aid toward countering transnational criminal activities, including anti-drug trafficking and demining programs, John Johnson told English-language newspaper the Cambodia Daily.

    The aid encompasses an estimated 575,000 U.S. dollars in Foreign Military Funding, which is used to buy vehicles, protective gear as well as medical and communication equipment, and about 60,000 U.S. dollars in International Military Education and Training Funding, which is primarily for English-language education, he added.

    The U.S. suspended military aid for Cambodia at the end of last century and lifted the restriction two years ago.

    In 2008, it donated 1.5 million U.S. dollars in peacekeeper training, 1 million U.S. dollars in demining assistance, and nearly 3 million U.S. dollars in other humanitarian programs in the kingdom, according to the embassy.

Editor: Deng Shasha

January 14, 2009 at 9:44 am 1 comment

Cambodian PM makes first Middle East visit

January 13, 2009

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has departed for oil-rich Kuwait in his first-ever visit to the Middle East, aimed at expanding business and trade ties.

Hun Sen was accompanied by a number of high-ranking government officials and business people as he left on the four-day trip on a plane provided by Kuwait.

“This visit will lead to the development in the future between Cambodia and Kuwait, and between Cambodia and other countries in the Middle East,” Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters.

During the visit, officials are scheduled to sign agreements on Kuwaiti technical aid to build a hydro-power plant, irrigation systems and roads in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation, the minister said.

Officials will also agree to direct flights between the two nations to boost tourism, he said. Hor Namhong, who is accompanying Hun Sen, said the premier would also hold discussions about rice, trade exchange and investments.

Kuwaiti premier Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah visited Cambodia and inked trade deals last August, while Phnom Penh is also looking into land-lease agreements with Kuwait.

Kuwait granted Cambodia a 546-million-dollar agricultural loan in August in return for crop production. Impoverished Cambodia has climbed back from decades of civil unrest to emerge as one of the region’s most vibrant economies, attracting increasing foreign investment.

Cambodian officials have also said they hope Middle East governments will help train local experts on the petroleum industry, which is starting to take root after the discovery of offshore deposits.

January 14, 2009 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

China lends Cambodia US$200m

AFP – December 3, 2008

PHNOM PENH – CHINA on Wednesday gave impoverished Cambodia more than US$200 million  in loans and grants to re-build the country’s infrastructure, a government official said.

Chinese and Cambodian officials inked an agreement to give a 200-million-dollar-loan to rebuild roads in the kingdom during a meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and China’s visiting top political advisor Jia Qinglin, government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said.

During the meeting, Mr Jia also announced a grant of US$7.26 million and the same amount as a non-interest loan, he said.

The announcement came just a day before the annual aid meeting between the government and international donors.

Last year, Cambodia’s donors pledged US$689 million to the impoverished country, including tens of millions from China.

China, a former patron of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, routinely gives Cambodia hundreds of millions in aid outside the donor structure, and has been repeatedly praised by Mr Hun Sen for not attaching any conditions to its money.

December 5, 2008 at 3:54 am Leave a comment

Kuwait, Cambodia sign diplomatic agreement

KUWAIT, Dec 4 (KUNA) — The State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Cambodia on Thursday signed a bilateral agreement to establish diplomatic missions at both countries.

The agreement was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Cambodian counterpart, Hor Namhong.

The signing ceremony was attended by Undersecretary at the foreign ministry Ambassador Khalid Suleiman Al-Jarallah, Director of Sheikh Dr. Mohammad’s Office Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Head of Africa Department and Acting Head of Asia Department at the ministry Ambassador Faisal Al-Mulaifi, Head of Protocols Department Ambassador Dhari Ajran Al-Ajran and the Cambodian Ambassador to the country.

December 5, 2008 at 3:43 am Leave a comment

Cambodia and Vietnam agree rail link: Foreign Minister

November 9, 2008

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia and Vietnam have signed a deal to link their railways, Cambodia’s foreign minister said Saturday, helping revive long-running plans to link Asia by rail.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said China would help Cambodia with the railroad link to Vietnam, which will cost more than 500 million dollars.

“China has promised to build the railroad from Phnom Penh to Vietnam as part of the project to create a link from Singapore to Kunming in China,” Hor Namhong said on his return from regional meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“The railroads are very important for Cambodia’s economy because we can then export goods to other southeast Asian countries at low cost,” he told reporters at Phnom Penh International airport.

Cross-border trade between Cambodia and Vietnam totalled 1.7 billion dollars in the first eight months of this year, Hor Namhong added.

Cambodia is linked to its western neighbour Thailand by a track that is no longer in use.

Cambodia’s civil war only ended in the 1990s, and trains throughout the impoverished nation crawl along dilapidated tracks.

It has long been a dream to connect Asia by rail, and many of the gaps in the railway are in Southeast Asia, with only Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand operating cross-border links.

The Asian Development Bank has stepped in with funds to help overhaul Cambodia’s railways, a project many hope will be finished within the next few years.

November 10, 2008 at 2:46 am Leave a comment

Chinese military vessel makes first ever visit to Cambodia

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese navy ship (CNS) Zhenghe entered the Sihanoukville Port on Wednesday morning, thus starting its 9-day official goodwill visit and the first ever entry of Chinese military boat into the Kingdom of Cambodia.

While docking here, this ocean-going training vessel with 411 crew members will be open for the public on Nov. 7 and its staff is to hold volleyball and football matches with the Cambodian navy troops based at the port city, said a press release from the Chinese Embassy.

On Wednesday evening, Cambodian Minister of Defense Tea Banh and Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Ke Kim Yan attended the reception banquet held to celebrate the arrival of the ship.

Both of them wished the bilateral military cooperation and exchange between the two countries to further develop and flourish.

Another banquet will be held on Thursday for the crew members to meet with the local Chinese Cambodian community, according to the release.

CNS Zhenghe was put into service in 1987 and once visited the United States, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Russia.

Editor: An

November 6, 2008 at 2:08 am 1 comment

Cambodia to double military budget to 500 mln dlrs after clashes

October 29, 2008

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — Cambodia will double its military budget next year to about 500 million dollars following a deadly firefight with Thailand at their disputed border this month, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Parliament is set to approve the new military budget in a session in early November, said Cheam Yeap, head of the parliament’s finance commission.

“We need our soldiers to have enough capacity to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and have proper equipment and weapons,” he told AFP.

“We also want our soldiers to have better training and to be better equipped with weapons and other military tools,” he said.

The lawmaker added that Cambodian soldiers also needed new bases and better pay from the government.

But the decision to vastly increase military spending will likely rankle many international donors, who provide about 600 million dollars per year for the impoverished country’s national budget.

Many of Cambodia’s Cold War-era weapons mis-fired during the October 15 firefight between troops on disputed land near the ancient Preah Vihear temple which left one Thai and three Cambodians dead.

While Thailand has a 300,000-strong armed force and a well-equipped air force, Cambodia’s much smaller military is badly equipped, badly trained and disorganised, according to a Western military official in Bangkok.

Tensions between Thailand and Cambodia flared in July when the 11th century Preah Vihear temple was awarded United Nations World Heritage status, rekindling long-running tensions over ownership of land surrounding the temple.

Although the World Court ruled in 1962 that it belonged to Cambodia, the most accessible entrance is in Thailand’s northeastern Si Sa Ket province.

October 30, 2008 at 6:04 am Leave a comment

UNESCO to post signs at Preah Vihear temple

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) — The Cambodian National Committee, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will post signs at Preah Vihear temple to create a protection zone around the World Heritage site, national media reported Wednesday.

The move follows claims by Cambodian officials that a statue and staircase at the 11th-century monument were damaged by Thai grenades during clashes on Oct. 15 that left three Cambodian soldiers and a Thai trooper dead, the Phnom Penh Post said.

Phay Siphan, secretary of state at the Council of Ministers, said three signs will be posted around the temple on Nov. 7 to prevent further damage to the site.

“Preah Vihear is not just Cambodian property, but world property,” he told the Post.

“Cambodia and Thailand are both members of UNESCO, so we want their cooperation in protecting the temple,” he added.

Hang Soth, director general of the Preah Vihear Authority, said the new signs will demarcate a new protection zone to deter fighting in the area.

“There will be no further shooting on the temple or in the protection zone,” he said.

“We will post the signs, and Thai soldiers must join us in respecting the boundary,” he added.

Editor: Lin Liyu

October 30, 2008 at 6:02 am 12 comments

Thai parliament gives green light for border talks with Cambodia

October 29, 2008

BANGKOK (AFP) — Thai parliament has given the government the green light to launch talks with Cambodia aimed at settling a long-running border dispute which boiled over into violence, officials said Wednesday.

The next round of talks aimed at ending a military stand off on disputed land near Cambodia’s ancient Preah Vihear temple will be held next month, after a border firefight on October 15 killed one Thai and three Cambodians.

“Parliament has granted the government two frameworks of negotiation,” said Virachai Plasai, a foreign ministry official in charge of legal affairs.

“The two frameworks will allow the government to launch negotiations with Cambodia in order to solve the boundary and border issues,” he told reporters.

Initial issues to be hammered out, beginning when the two sides meet from November 10 to 14, are the redeployment of troops on disputed land near Preah Vihear and removing landmines from the area.

In the longer-term, Virachai said, the two countries would try and settle ownership of patches of disputed land along Thailand and Cambodia’s 798-kilometre (495-mile) shared border.

The Cambodian-Thai border has never been fully demarcated, in part because it is littered with landmines left over from decades of war in Cambodia.

Tensions between the neighbours flared in July when the 11th century Preah Vihear was awarded United Nations World Heritage status, rekindling long-running tensions over ownership of the surrounding land.

Two rounds of emergency talks after the October 15 clashes made little progress, with both sides only agreeing not to fire on each other again.

October 30, 2008 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

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