Cambodia Grasps at Diplomatic Lifeline from Trump Administration

In August 1969, the United States reopened its embassy in Phnom Penh, restoring bilateral ties between the two countries, four years after a diplomatic cut-off initiated by the Cambodian government led by the late King Norodom Sihanouk.

At the time, King Sihanouk had taken umbrage to U.S. and Vietnamese incursions in southern Cambodia, on account of the widening reach of the Vietnam War, and concerns over growing U.S. influence in the Cambodian armed forces.

These, or similar, concerns surrounding U.S. involvement in Cambodia’s internal affairs would be used as a nationalistic rallying point by Hun Sen’s government in recent years.

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