US Congressmen Form House Caucus on Cambodia

Two U.S. congressmen have formed a bipartisan caucus within the House of Representatives that will focus on Cambodia’s “difficult political situation,” as well as bilateral relations.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, congressmen Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat representing Long Beach, California, home to the largest Cambodian community in the U.S., and Steve Chabot, a Republican representing Ohio, an­nounced the launch of the caucus.

“I feel it is critical that Congress do everything it can to ensure that the United States continues to serve as a positive influence on Cambodia as it works to fully integrate into the international community,” Mr. Lowenthal is quoted as saying.

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt addressed the first meeting of the caucus on March 17, the statement said.

“While stressing the need for more progress on democratic and judicial reforms, Ambassador Heidt sounded positive about the prospects for Cambodia’s young and growing population,” it said.

Mu Sochua, an opposition lawmaker and U.S. citizen, welcomed the caucus.

“Human rights, rule of law and trade are closely linked and I can predict that the Caucus will closely monitor the situation, especially following the U.S. ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands,” she said by email, referring to the February meeting be­tween U.S. President Barack Obama and regional leaders in California.

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