Hun Sen Declares Support for US Attacks

Prime Minister Hun Sen Mon­day threw his support behind the US-led attacks on Afghanistan.

“We knew that war would oc­cur. This war was supported by the international community against terrorism,” Hun Sen said, speaking with reporters after delivering the opening remarks of a seminar on national health.

The US and Britain launched missile attacks and bombing raids on what were termed as military targets throughout Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul.

Despite his support for the attacks, Hun Sen added that he hopes the attacks do not claim too many innocent lives.

“I hope the war will not lead to serious damage for civilians. I hope the operation’s leaders will de­s­troy the real terrorists,” he said.

Cambodia has been affected by the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Hun Sen added.

“Cambodia has prepared itself against terrorism. Because terrorism is not only a tragedy for Americans, it is a tragedy for all the people of the world. It has a very large effect, and [we] cannot let it go on,” he said.

Once the violence stops and peace is at hand, Hun Sen said Cambodia is prepared to recognize a new government in Afghan­istan.

“Cambodia will welcome this new government and build a relationship with this new government. The new government will build Afghanistan into a developed country and help people escape poverty. The war this time is not a war which destroys Af­ghanistan, but liberates the Afghan people from poverty and hardship,” he said.

The prime minister said one way Cambodia could assist a new Afghanistan could be to lend some of its demining experts. “Cambodia will contribute to demining there, if we are asked to,” he said.

Cambodia is also helping the US by going after the assets of suspected terrorists, and preventing them from using Cambodian banks to launder their money, Hun Sen said.

At the end of September, the US published a list of almost two dozen nations believed to be havens for money launderers. Cambodia was on that list.

Hun Sen said his government will crack down on the practice here.

“We have investigated carefully this issue and continue the investigation. We will seize the accounts of terrorists on Cambodian soil,” he said. “Terrorists have their networks. So we cannot deny the possibility that they can transfer money through this or that guy, through this or that gate, into the accounts of Cambodia.”


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