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Clinton discusses bilateral, regional issues with Cambodian PM

PHNOM PENH, July 11 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen here on Wednesday evening, discussing bilateral ties and regional issues.

During the one-hour meeting at the Peace Palace, Clinton highly evaluated good cooperation between the U.S. and Cambodia and emphasized that the two countries have much room to grow in terms of trade and investment, according to Eang Sophallet, spokesman for Hun Sen.

The U.S. is satisfied with the security cooperation with Cambodia and wishes to see further expansion in this cooperation, Clinton said.

The U.S. has decided to deepen the U.S.-ASEAN relations and cooperation, especially in the fields of disaster management, education, trade and investment, she said.

In regard to the Lower Mekong Initiative between the U.S. and Lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam), she said that she will announce on Friday to grant 50 million U.S. dollars for the development of the Lower Mekong countries.

On the issue of South China Sea, Clinton said that the U.S. hoped to see the ASEAN member states formulating the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) effectively, Eang Sophallet told reporters after the meeting.

Hun Sen said that the best way to solve the issue is the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and its guidelines in order to bind an effective COC.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen thanked the U.S. for flood relief to Cambodia last year and assistance to Lower Mekong countries, saying that the assistance is very vital to help expedite ASEAN integration towards a community in 2015 and narrow development gap among ASEAN member states.

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