US Delegation Meets With Alliance Members

A delegation of US lawmakers met with representatives of the Alliance of Democrats on Friday evening, and Fun­cinpec Sec­retary-General Prince Noro­dom Sirivudh returned to Cam­­bo­dia from France Sunday morning, party officials said.

The group of four US congressional staff members met with Funcinpec Senator Nhiek Bun Chhay, Funcinpec Minister of Wo­men’s and Veterans’ Affairs Mu Sochua and Sam Rainsy Par­ty Senator Ou Bunlong, Mu So­chua said Sunday.

“We have informed them about the [Alliance’s] national platform, which will help strengthen the democratic process in Cambo­dia,” Mu Sochua said. She said the US group made no offers of assistance.

US Embassy spokeswoman Heide Bronke said Sunday the group is one of three delegations that will visit Cambodia this month. This particular delegation is ex­ploring human rights assignments, among other programs, that may need US funding, she said.

Matthew Daley, deputy assistant secretary of the US Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, is also scheduled to visit this month, Bronke said. She did not know when he is scheduled to arrive.

Daley makes regular visits to Cambodia, Bronke added.

Daley visited Phnom Penh in February and met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, opposition party leader Sam Rainsy and Prince Sirivudh.

CPP spokesman Khieu Kanha­rith said Sunday he was not aware of the US lawmakers’ visit, nor whether they were scheduled to meet with ruling party officials.

Meanwhile, Prince Sirivudh arrived in Phnom Penh after meeting with Funcinpec Presi­dent Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy in France the past week, said Funcinpec spokes­­man Kassie Neou.

Though Prince Ranariddh said last week the Alliance would press for negotiations with the CPP to resume as soon as possible, Kassie Neou said no meeting date has been proposed.

Kassie Neou said Sam Rainsy is scheduled to return to Phnom Penh this morning.

(Additional reporting by Wency Leung)


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