PM engages US advocacy consultants to improve relations

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Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with Scott David Parven, representative of Akin Gump, in Washington DC on May 12. SPM

Prime Minister Hun Sen asked a public relations and advocacy company based in the US to help explain the confusion around the situation at Ream Naval base, in order to restore Cambodia-US relations.

Speaking to Scott David Parven, representative of Akin Gump, Hun Sen said that more work needed to be done to clear ‘confusion’ surrounding the relationship between the two countries.

“The US made accusations that there was a Chinese military presence at the base. This simply cannot be true because Cambodia has a firm position in adhering to principles of neutrality, as stated in our constitution. Cambodia has no policy that would make it choose between China and the US,” said Hun Sen, via social media.

Hun Sen told Parven that Cambodia had postponed military exercises with the US in 2017 due to its elections, but that the postponement was not intended to sever military ties with the US. Ream Naval Base is open to visitors from all countries who wish to dock there, as per request.

Parven said that his company had contacted many US leaders in congress and the government to help them understand the Cambodian positions on bilateral relation, ASEAN and international affairs, climate change, trade, and the humanitarian efforts Cambodia has made.

Parven said Cambodia should be appreciated and valued more for its achievements.