Officials nationwide are planning to step up security measures around the country for June’s Asean Regional Forum, scheduled to be held at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Phnom Penh. Foreign ministers from all 10 Asean countries are due to attend the meeting, along with representatives of 13 other nations, including US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“We have strengthened security in Phnom Penh and in the provinces. Many thousands of police, including police from the Ministry of Interior, will be deployed,” Deputy National Police Chief Sou Phan said Thursday.
“We will not limit the number of police, but will use all officers from the department of information, the terrorist squad and all districts,” Sou Phan said. “We have enough of them to protect all the leaders.”
The forum’s agenda focuses on regional security, putting attendees at a potentially high risk of politically motivated attacks.
But Cambodia’s security plans should ensure that everything runs smoothly for the forum attendees, officials said.
“All police will be on duty. We will protect the people, foreigners and top leaders during the Asean meeting,” said Soun Chheangly, Phnom Penh municipal police chief. “We will not allow anything to happen to the officials who attend the meeting.”
“They are coming to Cambodia because they feel confident there is peace and security here. So we [police], like house owners, have to protect them,” he added.
“Security will not only be tightened in Phnom Penh, but across the whole country, to prevent any terrorist attacks,” he said.