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Philippines President Duterte, In Cambodia, Seeks Assistance in Drug War


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, arrives a meeting with the Filipino community, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Duterte on Tuesday arrived Phnom Penh on his two-day official to Cambodia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

In return for co-operation in the drug war, Hun Sen requested that the Philippines invest in Cambodian agriculture.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has requested the help of Cambodia to fight a war on drugs that has exacted a heavy toll with thousands slain since he came to power.

Duterte, 71, was on a two-day visit to Cambodia, where he met Prime Minister Hun Sen and King Norodom Sihamoni.

In return for co-operation in the drug war, Hun Sen requested that the Philippines invest in Cambodian agriculture.

Eang Sophalleth, personal assistant to Hun Sen, said Duterte had asked for cooperation between security forces to combat the drugs trade and transnational crimes more broadly.

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that Cambodia has become a key trafficking route for drugs in Southeast Asia.

The specifics of the agency-to-agency cooperation had yet to be determined, Sophalleth added.

Hun Sen had also raised the possibility of direct flights between the two countries.

Duterte has come under pressure from the United Nations, European Union and United States, which have accused him of advocating for a campaign of violence and human rights violations that have seen perhaps 6,000 people extra-judiciously killed.

Prior to his arrival in Phnom Penh a small group of Filipinos protested outside the Royal Palace.

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