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Hun Sen Urges U.S. to Respect Cambodia's Neutrality in Global Politics

PHNOM PENH, June 5, 2024 – Senate President Hun Sen has requested that the United States not involve Cambodia in its geopolitical strategies or treat it as a battleground for geopolitical competition. This plea was made during a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Senate Palace earlier today.

Hun Sen voiced his support for Secretary Austin's efforts to enhance bilateral relations between Cambodia and the United States. He pointed out that a lack of mutual trust and misinterpretations have often led to misunderstandings between the two nations.

The Senate President emphasized the importance of dialogue within the defense sector to foster trust and prevent information gaps. He expressed gratitude for the U.S.'s assistance in various sectors in Cambodia and called for more efficient cooperation. Additionally, Hun Sen encouraged the U.S. to promote American investment in Cambodia.

Secretary Austin acknowledged the challenges in U.S.-Cambodian relations but affirmed his commitment to improving these ties. He commended the Royal Government of Cambodia for its firm stance on defense issues that are vital for maintaining bilateral relations.

He also announced that the U.S. would support applications from Cambodian students to the West Point Academy, enhance military dialogue, and organize joint military exercises focused on disaster response to strengthen mutual trust.

During their meeting, both leaders also discussed their perspectives on international issues, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, tensions in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas, and the South China Sea disputes.

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