US’ No 2 diplomat to meet Hun Sen on June 1

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman will travel to Brussels, Ankara, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Honolulu in the US State of Hawaii between May 25 and June 4. US STATE DEPARTMENT

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman is scheduled on a one-day visit to Cambodia on June 1 as part of her first multinational tour, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong.

While in Phnom Penh, Sherman is due to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn to "further strengthen bilateral ties between the US and Cambodia", French radio public service Radio France Internationale reported Kuong as saying.

Kuong confirmed the statement to The Post, but noted that the date is subject to change.

"As per plan, Her Excellency [Sherman] will pay a courtesy call to Samdech Prime Minister [Hun Sen] and have a discussion with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prak Sokhonn,” he said.

The US Department of State announced on May 21 that Sherman will travel to Brussels, Ankara, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Honolulu in the US State of Hawaii between May 25 and June 4.

Bradley J Murg, senior adviser and distinguished research fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, anticipated that Sherman's meetings in the Kingdom will serve as an opportunity for the Biden administration to further clarify its approach to Southeast Asia in contrast to the policies of the Trump administration.

“Potential items on the agenda are likely to include the continued rollout of the new Mekong-US partnership, Washington’s understanding of and deep commitment to the policy of ASEAN centrality, and, inevitably, its continuing concerns regarding China’s role in the Kingdom,” he said.