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Clinton coming to Cambodia

Sunday, 17 October 2010 21:55
Buth Reaksmey Kongkea and James O’Toole

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Pristina, Kosovo, last week to meet officals as part of a Balkan tour that included Bosnia and Serbia.
Photo by: AFP

United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton will pay a visit to the Kingdom at the end of this month, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong has said.

Koy Kuong said that the US’s top diplomat would visit following the trip by United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon, who is scheduled to arrive next Tuesday for a two-day visit.

“So far, we do not have the exact date of US Secretary of State Her Excellency Hillary Clinton’s visit yet, but I know that she will be visiting Cambodia at the end of this month after the official visit of His Excellency Ban Ki-moon,” Koy Kuong said.

“We are working on this now, and we will release the formal information when it is completely done.”

The American embassy, however, could not provide details of the visit.

“The embassy has received no confirmation about her visit from Washington,” an embassy spokesman said.
The last time a US secretary of state travelled to Cambodia was in 2003, when Colin Powell held the post. In 1996, top envoy Warren Christopher visited.

Koy Kuong said the purpose of the visit was “to strengthen bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two countries”. Under President Barack Obama, the US has attempted to play a more vigorous role in the region and reassert its presence in the face of a rising China.

At an ASEAN security dialogue in Hanoi this July, Clinton riled Beijing by claiming the US had a “national interest” in seeing freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. China’s naval buildup and its territorial claims in the area have been viewed warily by ASEAN members such as Vietnam.

In July, the Kingdom hosted the US-sponsored “Angkor Sentinel” military exercises, which involved more than 1,000 military personnel from 26 countries.

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Clinton surprises tourists at Cambodian temples

SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to Cambodias famed Angkor Wat temples, where he impressed tourists by scaling the highest temple in the complex.

PRLog (Press Release) – May 27, 2010 – SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to Cambodias famed Angkor Wat temples, where he impressed tourists by scaling the highest temple in the complex. Clinton, in Cambodia to tour AIDS-related projects and local organizations supported by his foundation, did not speak to reporters but shook hands with tourists. "I am so glad that the former US president came to visit the temples," said Cambodian visitor Pol Khim Pisith, who briefly saw Clinton before security officials pushed him away. "Bill Clintons visit will make our Angkor Wat more and more famous and attract more tourists," he said. Dressed in khaki trousers and a gray shirt, Clinton -- who is 60 and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 -- climbed on the highest temple, surprising tourists who helped him up. "Clinton visiting the temples is a good surprise," Belgian tourist Andre Deceuninck told AFP as he tried to take a picture of the 42nd US president. "I didnt know he was coming to see the temples. I thought it was a joke."

But the heavy security -- from both US Secret Service and Cambodian officials -- frustrated many visitors. "I really wanted to see him but security officials did not allow me to go closer to him," said 78-year-old Buddhist monk Sim Son. The popular former president has already visited India, Thailand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea as part of his Asian tour as special UN envoy for tsunami recovery and as head of his own Clinton Foundation. Clinton was scheduled to visit a hospital for children in Siem Reap later in the day before travelling to Vietnam.
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