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Cambodian Embassy prepares for Obama Inauguration


Cambodian embassy officials in Washington say they won’t hold a special event for the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama, but they have been invited to Tuesday’s event.

“The Cambodian Embassy, like the representatives all of the countries’ embassies based in the US, has been invited by the US State Department to join president Obama’s inauguration,” said Nay Meng Eang, deputy chief of mission at the Cambodian Embassy.

Cambodia is currently without an ambassador in Washington, following the exit of Ek Sereywath in late 2008. Hem Heng, the incoming ambassador, has yet to be recognized.

“We haven’t seen any confirmation yet,” Nay Meng Eang said.

Cambodian Embassy officials have also requested the establishment of a military attaché with the US, as well as a consulate office in Lowell, Mass., where many Cambodians live, but they have not received responses, he said.

Meanwhile, the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation, an advocacy group based in New Jersey, said it had sent a letter of congratulations to the incoming president.

Attached to the letter was an eight-page report on restrictions by the Vietnamese government against members of the Khmer Krom minority there, including the persecution of liberty, human rights and religion, said Thach Ngoc Thach, president of the group, who met with State Department officials last week.

“I think the new government will be able to continue the cooperation from [George W. Bush] administration’s work,” he said. “We strongly hope that the relationship between the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation and Obama’s administration will comprehensively continue.”

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