A senior Cambodian opposition official, Prince Sisowath Thomico, has claimed that his party will officially ask the new US administration to help Cambodia ahead of local elections in June.
He also said he would ask Trump to clarify his party’s foreign policy regarding Cambodia.
“The stance of the CNRP is to request other democratic and human rights defending countries to participate in monitoring the elections and make it free and fair. And we will officially request to Donald Trump’s administration to jointly support financially and help the election in Cambodia to be free and fair,” he said.
Thomico was speaking at a public forum in Vienna, Virginia, organized by the Cambodian America Alliance.
He told the forum that Cambodia would seek to maintain a neutral position in international relations with the United States and China.
The “CPP, I raise again as an example regarding to the South China Sea issue, seems to be biased to China without respecting the interest of Asean that is the important institution. So I state that the stance of opposition is absolutely not biased,” he said.
China is Cambodia’s largest foreign donor and lender, having spent billions of dollars in the country in the past two decades.
Men Vannak, a Lowell, MA, resident who joined the forum said Cambodia needs help and a good relationship with the new US administration.
“So if we associate with communists and associate with those who have not got a code of ethics, we don’t have a code of ethics,” he said.
Ou Kim Huot a Cambodian-American from Philadelphia, PA, who attended the forum, told VOA Khmer that the US relationship was important for Cambodia and he does not believe the ruling CPP is interested in fostering better relations.
“If we help ourselves, It is easy for the US to help. It not only US, but any country as well.”
Nhay Chamroeun an opposition MP who was beaten outside parliament by thugs linked to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, said he hoped the Trump administration would help further his case.
“I hope that the new US government will do more work because the new government is from the Republican party and President Donald Trump personally that I know of him, he does not like dictators and their sort.”