Cambodia

Royal Family Leaves for Medical Checkup in China

Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013.
Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni (L) and Queen mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk sit on the royal float as they transport urns with some of the cremains of former late King Norodom Sihanouk from a crematorium to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh February 7, 2013.
Heng Reaksmey
— King Norodom Sihamoni, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath and other members of the Royal Palace departed for China on Thursday for routine health checkups.

This is the first time they’ve left the country since the funeral of the late former king Norodom Sihanouk. They will stay about two weeks, Royal Palace officials said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, National Assembly President Heng Samrin and other top officials saw the royal family off on Thursday.

Observers say the departure of the royal family is unlikely to affect Cambodia’s political situation.

“I don’t believe there will be turmoil when the king leaves,” said Kem Sokha, head of the opposition Human Rights Party.

Independent political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the trip to China will also likely be a way for King Norodom Sihamoni to continue a relationship with Chinese officials, which was strong under the late king, who died in Beijing in October.
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