Argentina Asks for Cambodian Support on Debt

The Argentine government, which last month defaulted on its foreign debt, requested Cambodia’s support in its quest to have the debt restructured at a meeting in Phnom Penh on Monday, a Cambodian official said.

Argentina defaulted on its debt for the second time in 13 years after a judge in the U.S., where the debt was issued, ordered the country to fully repay the hedge funds that lost money when it last defaulted in 2001 before meeting its current obligations.

The country refused and is trying to have its bondholders swap the U.S.-governed bonds for bonds issued in Argentina. The U.S. judge has said the swap is illegal; Argentina has called the judge an “imperialist” and is hoping to bring the case to a U.N. court.

Cambodian Foreign Ministry Secretary of State Uch Borith said that Carolina Perez Colman, an undersecretary of state at Argentina’s Foreign Ministry, met Monday with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and requested Cambodia’s diplomatic support in its quest.

“From what she noted, foreign debt is vital for developing countries, not only Argentina,” Mr. Borith explained. “We are prepared to thoroughly cooperate and deeply study Argentina’s request.”

Ms. Colman had also asked for Cambodia’s support in beginning talks to reclaim from the U.K. the Falkland Islands, an archipelago off Argentina’s east coast over which a bloody war was fought in 1982.

“For the Cambodian government’s official stance, Cambodia will always support all initiatives and requests to solve territorial disputes peacefully by avoiding the use of force,” Mr. Borith said.

reaksmey@cambodiadaily.com

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