Remains hostage in spat with US
PRIME Minister Hun Sen hit back yesterday in response to United States visa sanctions by saying Cambodia would no longer assist in finding and repatriating the remains of American soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
The step follows a US ban imposed on Wednesday on certain visas for senior Foreign Ministry officials, which came in response to the Kingdom temporarily suspending a controversial 2002 agreement to receive citizens that the US wants to deport due to prior felony convictions.
“Cambodia s u s p e nds cooperating with the US in seeking US soldiers’ bones which went missing in Cambodia during the war,” Hun Sen said in a rare interview with government mouthpiece Fresh News.
Using a Khmer word for “bones”, rather than a more polite term translating to “body”, Hun Sen said the suspension would remain in place until relations between Cambodia and the US improved. Hun Sen has accused the US of plotting to topple the government, and used Kem Sokha’s alleged support from the American government to justify his arrest this month for “treason”.
“The soldiers who went missing [were] about 80 people. In the past, we found 40 people but there still remain 40 people [missing]. Therefore the cooperation in seeking [them] will have to be suspended and we will wait for a solution,” he said.
He cited humanitarian CONTINUED
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