The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh to discuss U.S. support for ASEAN and Cambodia’s Chair year, as well as efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship. The Secretary welcomed Cambodia’s partnership on key issues such as health and health security, law enforcement cooperation, POW/MIA accounting, and regional initiatives like the Mekong-U.S. Partnership. They discussed the worsening crisis in Burma, and the Secretary noted the importance of Cambodia’s role as ASEAN Chair in co-sponsoring two UN resolutions condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Secretary asked the Prime Minister to be fully transparent about activities by the People’s Republic of China at Ream Naval Base, emphasizing that an exclusive presence would risk damaging Cambodia’s sovereignty, regional security, and ASEAN unity. The Secretary also urged the Prime Minister to reopen civic and political space ahead of 2023 elections and make progress on democracy and respecting human rights by ensuring all Cambodians, including opposition leader Kem Sokha, can participate freely in the political process. He further pressed the Prime Minister to release activists detained on politically motivated charges such as U.S.-Cambodian dual citizen Seng Theary. The Secretary reiterated the U.S. commitment to the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a more prosperous, democratic, and independent country, where all voices are heard and respected and the Kingdom’s autonomy is protected.