New VN Ambassador Selected

The government has appointed Var Simsamrith, current rector of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, as ambassador to Vietnam, officials said Monday.

Var Simsamrith, 60, said he was looking forward to the position, but wanted first to catch up on international affairs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The previous ambassador to Vietnam, Noun Sareth, died in November of cancer.

Var Simsamrith has been a member of the CPP Central Committee since 1993.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials must first receive approval from the Vietnamese government before they can dispatch Var Simsamrith to Hanoi, said Chum Sounry, a ministry spokesman .

He was unsure when exactly that would be, but Var Sim­sam­rith said he will not retire from his university position until Jan 1 and he would probably not go to Vietnam until the end of January.

Noun Sareth was an ambassador to Vietnam for five years, before being recalled in October by Prime Min­ister Hun Sen because of health problems.


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