US Town To Inaugurate Cambodia Consulate

A public ceremony inaugurating Cambodia’s honorary consulate in Massachusetts is slated for Sunday, according to Foreign Affairs Min­istry spokesman Kuy Kuong.

Overseeing the ceremony will be Fo­reign Minister Hor Namhong, who will visit the consulate in the city of Lowell, which counts Am­erica’s second-largest Cambodian community, most of whom are ref­ugees who resettled there during the 1980s.

Headed by Ou Sovann, a former consular officer for the Cambodian Embassy in the US who is also a defector from the opposition SRP to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP, the office will provide information on requirements for entering Cam­bodia and assistance to citizens as well as general tourism information, Mr Kuy Kuong said.

“This consulate is important for Cam­bodians, tourists, overseas in­vestors. If they want to come to Cam­bodia they should connect with this consulate and do not need to go to the Royal Cambodia Em­bassy,” he said Wednesday.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said the consulate is an important step in relations be­tween the two countries and will greatly help the Cambodian community in the area.

“It is easy for the Cambodian-Am­ericans who live there to communicate with the Cambodian government,” he said.

Currently, Cambodia has one oth­er honorary consulate in Seattle, Wash­­­ington. The government also plans to reopen the honorary consu­late it had operated in Long Beach, Cali­fornia, Mr Kuoy Kong said.

According to 2007 figures from the US Census Bureau, there are about 250,000 residents who claim Cam­bodian descent in America. Roughly a third of that population lives in California while about 10 percent resides in Massachusetts.

   (Additional reporting by Frank Radosevich)


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