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US, Cambodia Prepare Diplomatic Missions

Newly appointed US Ambassador Carol Rodley held her first meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen Thursday, promising a continued policy of cooperation, as Cambodia’s own ambassador prepared for his post in Washington.

The United States will continue friendly relations in politics, economics and culture in a bilateral relationship, the ambassador told VOA Khmer Thursday, following a nearly one-hour meeting with the premier.

“It was our first meeting, and it was very good to have a chance to talk to him again,” said Rodley, who was the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh from 1997 to 2000. “We will continue to have very good cooperative relations and continue to provide assistance to Cambodia.”

Ieng Sophalleth, a spokesman for Hun Sen, said the premier had thanked the ambassador for US assistance.

Cambodia and the US have enjoyed warming relations in recent years, including the resumption of military aid and other programs.

However, the US government should strengthen its democracy-building in Cambodia, said Kem Sokha, president of the Human Rights Party, “and especially help the Cambodian National Assembly strengthen democracy, to make a balance of power in the government.”

Rodley’s meeting with Hun Sen follows the arrival of Hem Heng, Cambodia’s ambassador to the US, in Washington.

“I do hope that our Cambodian people who are living here, as well as living across America, will help my mission to reach success and achievement for our nation,” Hem Heng, who has yet to be officially recognized as ambassador, said following a monk’s blessing at a pagoda in the state of Maryland Sunday.