Huge Security Effort Prepared for Forum

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.

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