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US Ship Docks in Sihanoukville

The USS Essex, a 2,000-crew, 250-meter ship, docked in Sihanoukville Monday, the largest US ship to land at the port city in 30 years.

The ship will deploy its crew for "community relations events, medical and dental events and professional military exchanges," the US Embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement.

Crew "will also have the chance to meet local citizens and experience local customs and traditions," the embassy said.

The ship's visit is the second US naval appearance this year, following decades of cooler relations between Cambodia and the US. Relations have improved, including the resumption of direct foreign aid and military aid to Cambodia this year.