Hun Sen emerges to back $1.7 billion Cambodian canal project

Despite objections by Vietnam, the former prime minister says no room for negotiations.

Former prime minister Hun Sen has emerged from the sidelines to assert Cambodian interests over international issues, including the construction of a controversial canal that will divert water from the Mekong River to Kep on the south coast, near the Vietnamese border.

Hun Sen went on a vintage offensive, saying there was no room for negotiations over the US$1.7-billion Funan Techo canal which is expected to traverse 180 kilometers; but critics say it will drain 50 percent of the water flow from Vietnam’s southern regions in the Mekong Delta.

“There would be no further negotiation regarding the digging of the Funan Techo canal,” he told a group of business leaders. “Don’t call Cambodia to negotiate.”

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