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Consulate Vows To Help Cambodians 'Unconditionally'

Sok Savoeun, the newly appointed consular.
Sok Savoeun, the newly appointed consular.

Cambodia opened a consulate office in Philadelphia, Penn., on Saturday, the third of its kind, aimed at serving Cambodian nationals and attracting tourism and investment.

Located on the ground floor of a building in the north of the city, the five-by-fifteen-meter office will certify documents and work with Cambodians facing issues like deportation, officials said.

“The opening of the general consulate is to help functions for our people who live in the US, to use it as a bridge for people in Philadelphia to our motherland,” Ouch Borith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a crowd of about 100 Saturday.

Cambodia already has consulates in Seattle, Wash., and Lowell, Mass., in addition to its embassy in Washington.

Officials also moved to put aside concerns that these offices were extensions of the ruling Cambodian People's Party.

“Today I want to make clear to all of you that the main mission of either the embassy or the consulates is to serve all people regardless of their political tendencies and beliefs,” he said. “We will serve you unconditionally.”

“I am committed to serve the interests of the Cambodian people,” said Sok Savoeun, the newly appointed consular. “I will try my best to help as much as I can, regardless of your political parties. So long as you are Cambodians, I will do my best to serve you.”