PM: Country Needs US Training, Not Weapons From US

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that his government does not require weapons from US military aid, which was recently re­newed after an eight year ban, but instead needs its assistance in training military engineers and officers.

“Cambodia does not need wea­pons and grenades from America,” Hun Sen told reporters after the first-ever session of the national com­mit­tee against terrorism at the Council of Ministers.

“Cambodia does need combat skills, but we have greater needs for development,” Hun Sen said. “I want training for engineers and medics.”

Hun Sen said that he would welcome any US military aid to im­prove the ability of senior military of­ficers to protect Cambodia.

Earlier this month, the US waived a provision prohibiting the US government from providing military assistance to Cambodia.  The US lifted the prohibition, which had been in force since 1997, after Cambodia signed an agreement stating that it would not send US citizens in Cambodia before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

When answering reporters’ questions about the meeting of the national committee against terrorism, Hun Sen said that there was a danger that television and radio broadcast could supply terrorists with useful information.

“Some television and radio stations seemingly reveal state secrets to terrorists,” he said. “This is a big weakness for the state.”

Hun Sen said the issue was discussed at the meeting “because the terrorist just sleeps at home and watches TV while the state is dis­cus­­sing the matter. We cannot speak on the microphone about what we are going to do.”

 

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