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Senate President Hun Sen Confirms Longstanding Cooperation with CIA Leaders

Phnom Penh, June 13, 2024: Senate President Techo Hun Sen has openly acknowledged his longstanding communications with CIA leadership, starting as early as 1997. This revelation came in response to a report by David Hutt of The Diplomat, which suggested a discrepancy in recent statements about his meetings with current and past U.S. intelligence officials.

In a detailed social media post on the evening of June 12, 2024, Hun Sen outlined his history of engagement with the CIA, emphasizing the strategic nature of these interactions. He clarified, "If you do not know Hun Sen well, please do not underestimate him."

On June 12, David Hutt claimed in The Diplomat that CIA Director Bill Burns had not met with Hun Sen, contradicting the latter’s previous statements about a meeting held on June 2, 2024.

Hun Sen responded by listing his meetings with U.S. intelligence, noting significant encounters such as his 2011 meeting at his home in Phnom Penh with then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and a 2012 meeting with CIA Director David Petraeus. Most recently, he met with CIA Director Bill Burns in 2024 in Takhmao City.

Additionally, Hun Sen mentioned that in instances where he couldn't meet in person, he sent representatives to engage with CIA leaders in Washington, including Mike Pompeo, who later served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Donald Trump.

"Our primary cooperation focuses on counter-terrorism, not against any specific country," Hun Sen stated, underlining that Cambodia also maintains intelligence ties with other nations as part of standard state operations.

He concluded with a metaphorical warning, "See calm waters, but do not assume there are no fish beneath them. When Hun Sen does not speak, do not assume he has nothing to say."

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