The spokesman for the Vietnamese Embassy whose controversial comments about the history of Kampuchea Krom sparked nationalist protests in July and August will be replaced, officials said Thursday.
“The Vietnamese Embassy will make diplomatic notes to send to our Foreign Ministry to change the spokesman of the Vietnamese Embassy, Tran Van Thong,” Cambodian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said after a meeting between Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh and newly appointed Vietnamese Ambassador Thach Du.
The trio met on Thursday at the Foreign Affairs Ministry to discuss the protests, as well as the disputed South China Sea and relations between Vietnam and China, Mr. Kuong said, adding that he did not know when the new spokesman would arrive in Cambodia.
Mao Pises, president of the Federation of Cambodian Intellectuals and Students, said that despite the spokesman switch, planned protests against Mr. Thong’s comments and Vietnam’s refusal to apologize would still go ahead.
“If Vietnam only does this, we cannot accept it…. So we must demand that Vietnam issue a clear diplomatic note about Kampuchea Krom land that confirms spokesman Tran Van Thong misunderstood history,” he said.