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Cambodia and U.S. commit to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation…mmmh!

Shock An shook hand with US official (courtesy from Shock An’s Press and Quick Erection Unit)



PHNOM PENH, 7 Aug. (PRU) – His Excellency William E. Todd, during a courtesy call on 6 August at the Office of the Council of Ministers to introduce himself as new U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, told His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Sok An that the U.S. was committed at all levels and stood ready to work with Cambodia in order to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation. “Relationship is everything; without it we have nothing,” said Mr. Todd.

His Excellency Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, took the opportunity to brief His Excellency Ambassador on some major issues. First, with regard to the issues of the Temple of Preah Vihear, he said that Cambodia had a very strong legal basis for her claim based on the 1962 ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and that Cambodia always wished to resolve the issue in a peaceful and diplomatic manner. He informed H.E. Todd of the ICJ’s provisional measures which had ordered for a provisional de-militarized zone and of recent redeployment of Cambodian troops in the area witnessed by military attachés from eleven embassies and more than 100 local and international media reporters.

The U.S. Ambassador thanked His Excellency Sok An for the briefing and said the U.S. wishes to ensure peace and stability in the region and not to take side.

As far as the Extraordinary Chambers within the Courts of Cambodia is concerned, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister told H.E. Todd that it had achieved six world records over the past years and confirmed it was well on its way to deliver justice to the people of Cambodia. At the same time, he took the liberty to express some concerns regarding the shortage of funding for the court.

Mr. Todd replied that the U.S. was pleased with the achievement and progress of the court. “The U.S. will continue to support the court and also encourage other countries to make further contributions,” he said.

In the field of cultural heritage His Excellency Sok An commended the U.S. Embassy and Government for their strong support and close cooperation in temples’ reparation and restoration in Siem Reap province and in the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear as world heritage. He also praised the U.S. for supporting Cambodia’s successful bid for the chairmanship of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) and Cambodia’s host of WHC meeting next year. Furthermore, he expressed Cambodia’s gratitude for the U.S. assistance concerning the return to Cambodia of Duryodhana statue believed to have bee

n taken away from Cambodia and put on auction by Sotherby’s in the U.S. He added that legal procedures were in process in the U.S. against the company.

His Excellency Ambassador said the U.S. viewed that cultural heritage was very important for national identity and that the U.S. would continue to assist Cambodia in this regard.

H.E. Todd expressed his determination to work closer with the Cambodian government during his term of mission in Cambodia and his ideas on how to shape Cambodia’s future based on his many years of experiences as diplomat. He said people investment, especially education for youth and healthcare, is crucial in developing the country in the long run. He cited countries like the Republic of South Korea and Singapore which over the last 30-40 years had been able to do really well and he believed Cambodia could also be one of them.

Before the meeting was concluded, H.E. Todd invited His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to attend the 50th anniversary of the launch of USAID and 20th anniversary of USAID presence in Cambodia. The event will be held at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh on 22 August 2012. His Excellency Sok An accepted the invitation and is going to deliver remarks at the event.

Source: Shock An’s Press and Quick Erection Unit

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