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Opposition Compliments Gov’t on Reaction to Alleged Encroachment

Cambodian main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy, front, greets his supporters as his arrives at Choeung Ek memorial on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, May 17, 2015. Sam Rainsy on Friday led a Buddhist ceremony mar

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Monday extended a rare compliment to Cambodia’s foreign minister, who has sent two missives since Friday to Vietnam, accusing the government allowing encroachment in Ratanakkiri province.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong sent notes to the Vietnamese Embassy on Friday and Sunday, protesting the excavation of multiple ponds up to 500 meters inside Cambodian territory.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has long criticized the ruling Cambodian People’s Party for allowing border encroachment by the Vietnamese, but rarely is anything done about it in a public, diplomatic fashion.

Speaking to supporters in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday, Sam Rainsy expressed his support for the “good deed” and said it was a sign of improved relations between the Rescue Party and the CPP. The CPP no longer needs the support of Vietnam, he said.

Meanwhile, other relations have improved, and no matter the outcome of the next election, “Cambodia will be harmonized,” Sam Rainsy said.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed claims that a “culture of dialogue” with the Rescue Party made Hor Namhong’s notes possible. “The Cambodian People’s Party has been working on this issue [for a long time],” he said. “Since before the establishment of a culture of dialogue.”