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Cambodia to Sign Nuclear Terrorism Protocol

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said Friday Cambodia supports a protocol to prevent nuclear terrorism initiated by US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin and would sign it soon.

Bush and Putin announced last year the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which asks countries to strengthen efforts to control nuclear materials, prevent the smuggling of nuclear weapons and deny haven to terrorists who seek them.

A signed protocol would be a good step for Cambodia as it seeks to destroy other weapons, Heng Sochea, director of the Anti-Nuclear Proliferation Project in Cambodia, said.

Seng Theary, the executive director of the Center for Social Development, hailed the move as positive, while opposition leader Sam Rainsy said the government should worry about destroying conventional weapons in the hands of common criminals.

The announcement comes after improved relations between Cambodian and the United States. Last month, US Congress voted to resume direct aid to Cambodia and US doctors trained Cambodian health officials on bird flu prevention.