Kerry to Meet With Civil Society, CNRP in Visit

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with the CNRP and at least one NGO leader when he visits Phnom Penh next week, in addition to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong, as was previously announced.

Kem Monovithya, a spokeswoman for the CNRP and the daughter of CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha, said Mr. Sokha planned to meet with Mr. Kerry, although she declined to give further information.

The director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Chak Sopheap, also said she would meet with Mr. Kerry in a meeting she described as being facilitated by the U.S. Embassy.

“I especially wish to inform Secretary Kerry about civil society’s grave concerns regarding the draft trade union law, the proposed cyber crime law, and the implementation of the LANGO,” Ms. Sopheap wrote in an email, adding that she hoped Mr. Kerry would continue to “apply diplomatic pressure” during the U.S.-Asean summit in California next month.

Chum Sounry, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the schedule for the visit was still being finalized.

“The visit by John Kerry will be on the 25th and 26th, and the schedule, the tentative program, is being arranged now,” he said, adding that he had no information about anyone Mr. Kerry would meet with besides Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Namhong.

Jay Raman, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, also said he was unable to provide further information about Mr. Kerry’s schedule.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he was unaware of the official agenda for the visit, but that the government was “not concerned at all” by news that Mr. Kerry would meet with the CNRP.

“If John Kerry picks up the opposition’s vision of relations and cooperation between the opposition and the government, that is up to him,” he said.

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