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Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong

Thailand, Cambodia Recommit to Border Growth

The foreign ministers of Thailand and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding in Phnom Penh yesterday reconfirming their commitment to developing their joint border with new economic zones, checkpoints and a 1,800-MW power plant. ... “We have agreed to create four international checkpoints to improve trade along the border in Preah Vihear, Battambang, Pursat and Oddar Meanchey provinces,” Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said at the signing ceremony. He said they had also agreed to set up new special economic zones near the border in the province of Banteay Meanchey and Koh Kong and to continue studying the potential of a 1,8000 MW coal fired power plant in Koh Kong that would send electricity back to Thailand. ... Mr. Namong’s Thai counterpart, Surapong Tovichahchaikul, said they had also agreed to improve road and rail connections between the two countries and recommitted to keeping the border peaceful. ... ...

Hor Namhong Asks for More Cash for Rail Project

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong made another appeal to Australia for additional funds to complete a behind-schedule project to rehabilitate the country’s railway network, this time to newly appointed Australian Ambassador Alison Burrows, according to a ministry spokesman. While work on the Southern Line of the railway, from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville’s seaport, is nearly completed, the projects $141.6 million budget-most of which was provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)- is not enough to complete repairs on the northern section of the rail line. An additional $75 million to $125 million is needed to finish the project and connect the line between Phnom Penh and Poipet City on the Thai border. ... The railway network, once rehabilitated, is expected to help reduce commercial transportation costs, lower consumer prices and make the country more attractive to outside investors. But local housing rights groups, supported by an independent assessment of the rail rehabilitation project commissioned by the ADB, have repeatedly criticized both Australia and the ADB for not doing enough to mitigate the economic impact on the hundreds of poor families being evicted from their homes to make way for the project. ... ...

Australia Courted for Further Railway Funding

The government has asked Australia to provide more funding to help complete the rehabilitation of the dilapidated railway line between Phnom Penh and the Thai border, a spokesman said yesterday. Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong met with Lieutenant General John Sanderson, former chief of the Australian Army, at Prime Minister Hun Sen's office building in Phnom Penh. ... An estimated $75 million to $125 million more is needed to fix the colonial-era tracks and many bridges damaged by years of war on the part of the line connecting Phnom Penh and Banteay Meanchey province. ... ...

Government Asks for Asian Development Bank's Help on Railway

The government yesterday asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue to help Cambodia's troubled railway rehabilitation project, which is in desperate need of more funding in order to complete the network's northern line. Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong met with the ADB's recently appointed country director, Eric Sidgwick, in Phnom Penh. Following the meeting, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told reporters that Mr. Namhong had brought up the rail project, to which the ADB has already contributed $84 million, making it the project's largest financer. ... ...

Cambodian-Americans Protest Minister’s US Visit

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong’s visit to meet U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington was met with a small protest Tuesday from Cambodian-Americans voicing a number of grievances. Video footage posted online shows a cluster of protesters outside the State Department building in Washington holding up placards with slogans including “We want no dictator,” “No fake democracy” and “Arrest Hor Namhong now.” … ...

Hor Namhong to talk debt in US

Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong will conduct a one-day visit to Washington, at the behest of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, where he will again lobby for US debt forgiveness. The one-day visit on Tuesday will also focus on strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as regional co-operation. ... ...

Namhong Says S China Sea a Regional Issue

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong said yesterday that the contentious issue of the South China Sea should not become an international issue, but must be solved among the region’s neighbors. Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Affairs Ministry alongside visiting Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Mr. Namhong said that he told Mr. Carr that the South China Sea issue should only be solved by the parties involved in the dispute. ... ...

Gov’t Asks UN to Help Prepare for Future Disasters

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong yesterday asked the UN’s visiting head of humanitarian affairs for extra support in preparing for future natural disasters, according to ministry spokesman Koy Kuong. … ...

Pyongyang trade push

North Korea officials have arrived in Cambodia with the intent of establishing a trade relationship, particularly with regards to agriculture. Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong met with Deputy Trade Minister Ri Myong San from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Opinions have been mixed on the potential for any trade deal. ...
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