Friday, 1.2.2008: Cambodian-American Relationship Notably Improved

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Week 545 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 545

Federal Bureau of Investigation opens its Legal Attaché office in Cambodia

“Phnom Penh: The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], which is a main part of the United States of America government, officially inaugurated its Legal Attaché office in the afternoon of 31 January, after a warm welcome by high ranking officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller, the FBI director, together with Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the US ambassador to Cambodia, jointly symbolically pressed a
button to inaugurate an FBI office in Cambodia, which is located in the US embassy.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller told the press that ‘Cambodia is an important country to have an FBI representative office.’

“He stated that the office has two staff members, including Mr. Laro Tan (a Cambodian-American), as the head of the office in Cambodia.

“The FBI director, who is paying a two day visit to Cambodia, added that the reason why they just open this office here is because in the past, the US had not owned a suitable building, but right now, the US has an embassy which is firmly established in Cambodia. He claimed that ‘the relationship between the FBI and Cambodia will be improved after opening this office right here.’ He added that ‘the FBI will strengthen the relations and the cooperation with the government [of Cambodia], exchanging information to jointly fight against terrorism.’

“The FBI office was inaugurated after Mr. Robert S. Mueller had met with many high ranking government officials. In the morning of 31 January, he met with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen at his Takhmao villa in Kandal.

“Mr. Eang Sophalet, a personal assistant to Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, said that Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that the relationship between Cambodia and the US right now is progressing well. Samdech Dekchor continued that the US has helped Cambodia by providing many kinds of assistance, such as humanitarian, to combat against terrorism, and against money laundering and human trafficking.

“Samdech Dekchor requested the US to continue to help further in these sectors.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller thanked the Cambodian government, especially Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, for allowing the US to operate the FBI Legal Attaché office in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Moreover, he noted that, so far, Cambodia has provided very good cooperation in the fight against terrorism, money laundering, and human trafficking etc.

“Mr. Robert stated that the US will continue to cooperate with Cambodia in the fight against terrorism, money laundering, and human trafficking.

“In the morning of 31 January, Mr. Robert S. Mueller separately met with officials from the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism.

“Mr. Om Yentieng, an advisor to Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and vice chairperson of the secretariat of the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism, who represented the Cambodia side, welcomed and highly appreciated the visit of the US delegation by saying, ‘This is a very important and busy trip, but it is an expression of friendly relations and intense cooperation; and it is also a visit that can bring a new step in strengthening and deepening the very good and friendly relations towards cooperation in the future.’

“Mr. Om Yentieng said that the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism is smaller than the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces of the US. However, our National Committee on Counter-Terrorism is based on three principles: first, that national and international forces cooperate right here; second, it is a center to exchange all information on espionage between all national and international intelligence institutions; and third, this national body fulfils its role as a center to coordinate all national forces fighting against terrorism.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller thanked for the warm welcome and for the hospitality from the Cambodia side, and he said that just shortly before this, he met with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, then with Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, the minister of interior, and particularly right now he discusses with the National Committee on Counter-Terrorism, where several sectors, including police, military police, as well as other military and civilian officials, are represented.

“Mr. Robert said during the meeting, ‘The friendly relations and the cooperation between Cambodia and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation have a firm basis,’ and he stated that he ‘hopes and believes that, in future, we will strengthen and extend the relations and the cooperation further.’

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller stated that he will provide assistance to Cambodia, especially for the training of Cambodian law enforcement officials, and also give equipment and materials for combating terrorism and other crimes, including cross border crimes, and human and drug trafficking.

“At the same time Mr. Robert S. Mueller showed his intention to help Cambodia combating another new type of crime, which is computer crime. This relates to the crime of virus programming to destroy computer systems; for this kind of crime laws exist in the USA. Even though in Cambodia such a law still does not exist, he stated that he will provide training to combat this kind of crime.

“Mr. Robert S. Mueller expressed enthusiasm and highly appreciated that Cambodia has permitted the opening of the Legal Attaché office, which is also called the FBI representative office in Cambodia, located in the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, headed by Mr. Laro Tan, the FBI office chief, who came here for the first time to work. It is important that Mr. Laro Tan has a Cambodian background, which can help to facilitate to have more progress in the relationship between Cambodia and America.

“According to a source from the US Embassy in Cambodia, Mr. Robert S. Mueller’s visit here is part of his trip to two other countries, China and Vietnam.

“It is noted that Mr. Robert arrived in Cambodia on 30 January.

Mr. Robert S. Mueller became the sixth director of the FBI on 4 September 2001. Before working in the FBI, Mr. Mueller had many different experiences: as a lawyer, and he also was US Deputy Attorney General as well. He graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and has a Master Degree in International Relation from New York University in 1967, and he received [after having served in the military] a law degree from the Faculty of Law of the University of Virginia in 1973.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4504, 01.02.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 1 February 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #37, 1.2.2008

  • Mr. Robert Mueller, Director of US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Came to Cambodia before the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs [Yang Jiechi]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1560, 1.2.2008

  • Opposition Party Criticizes Draft Law on Demonstrations [as the law makes the leaders of demonstration responsible for any damages or violence caused by demonstrators]
  • More Than 10,000 Water Wells with [natural contamination by] Arsenic Found in 2007 [in 21 provinces and towns of Cambodia]
  • Mr. Khieu Kanharith [Minister of Information] Spent $1,400 to Repay a Monk, so that a Poor Woman [with three little children who is accused of deception] Is Freed from Detention [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6260, 1.2.2008

  • Chhun Yasith [head of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters organization in the USA] to Be Sent to Court; Cambodia Cooperates with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to Fight Terrorism, Various Crimes, and Money Laundering

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3379, 1.2.2008

  • Creation of Quick Reaction Group [by Cambodian Government – to counter negative information ] Is to Help to Hide Corruption of the Cambodian People’s Party
  • When Ruling the Country, a Sam Rainsy Party Government Will Create Quick Reaction Group for Solving Issues of Increasing Prices of Gasoline and other Goods
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy and Yuon Consulates in Cambodia Are Only Protecting Their Immigrants [and do not engage much in other activities]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4504, 1.2.2008

    • Cambodian-American Relationship Notably Improved
    • German Government Provides More Than $1 Million for Demining in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey
    • A [South] Korean Company [SCF (Cambodia) Co., Ltd] Comes to Invest in [agricultural] Production and Animal Production
    • Siem Reap Needs 300,000 Cubic Meters of Sand per Year for Its Development

Go to last week’s editorial

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