The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia met Monday with opposition co-leader Kem Sokha following his release from house arrest and said further moves toward full democracy would improve relations with the United States.
Kem Sokha of the banned Cambodia National Rescue Party was freed Sunday by court order after more than two years in detention without trial. He remains charged and is not allowed to join political activities or travel outside Cambodia, and must comply with requests from the court or the authorities.
U.S. Ambassador Patrick Murphy said after meeting with Kem Sokha that he told Cambodia’s government that the release was a “step forward,” but it was also important for the authorities to “find a way to restore Mr. Kem Sokha’s entire freedoms and liberties, to drop the charges against him” and do the same for other dissidents denied their freedom.