Mid-speech at the closing ceremony of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s annual meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the cameras to be turned off and journalists to stop recording. He then pursued an exposition he had already been delivering for 20 minutes, predicting the downfall of the E.U. due to the terror of the Islamic State militant group.
“ISIS today is not only a terrorist force in secret; rather, ISIS has occupied land with oil wells” that can generate revenue, he said, using an acronym for the group.
“ISIS is able to attack the U.S., France, Germany and Europe, and it’s able to ally with Abu Sayyaf,” he said, referring to a jihadi terrorist group based in the southern Philippines.
Mr. Hun Sen said the flow of refugees out of the Middle East would be unrelenting, straining the politics of European states.
With a clampdown on immigration and strong-armed emergency responses in the wake of terrorist attacks, civil rights would slowly be choked, he predicted.
“So Europe as a place of pride and a place of discipline with respect to others—their civil rights—will soon be revoked,” he said. “Whenever terrorism occurs, they always declare a curfew or mark areas as danger zones…meaning the reduction of civil rights.”
Terror has been a recurring topic in the prime minister’s political analyses, which are seemingly unfurled every chance he gets, whether at graduation ceremonies, the launches of environmental campaigns or the inaugurations of schools. On Wednesday, at the opening of an international conference on child welfare in Siem Reap, he attacked the U.S. for killing children in Cambodia and the Middle East.
In 2014, Mr. Hun Sen pledged that he would not let Cambodia become a shelter for terrorists and would support campaigns to destroy terrorism, including I.S.
In September, after military helicopters, speedboats and trucks full of masked soldiers were deployed around the CNRP headquarters, Mr. Hun Sen described the military action as a counterterrorism exercise.
“It’s not a threat, but it’s beyond a threat because it was a kind of command to eliminate whoever wants to destroy security and social order,” he said at the time.