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First French Ship in 20 Years to Moor in Cambodia

When the surveillance frigate FNS Nivose docks in Sihanoukville Wednesday, it will be the first French ship to do so in more than 20 years, officials said Tuesday.

The Nivose will stay moored from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23, in an effort to improve relations between Cambodia and its one-time protector.

The ship's visit will symbolize France's respect for Cambodia's maritime sovereignty and will help strengthen humanitarian, diplomatic and law enforcement efforts between the two, the French Embassy said in a statement.

Cambodian and French mariners will also exchange information on smuggling, surveillance and sea rescue, the statement said.

The commander of the ship, Jacques Rivieres, will meet with Sihanoukville Governor Say Hak and naval deputy commander Hing Puthdara.

Crew from the ship will compete in a soccer match with Cambodians, a French Embassy spokeswoman said.