Cambodian PM says won’t exchange independence, sovereignty for aid

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen reiterated yesterday that the country will not exchange its independence and sovereignty for any aid.

“I still continue to say that we must not exchange our sovereignty for any preference or aid,” he said in a speech during the closing ceremony of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s annual conference.

As an independent and sovereign state, Cambodia would not bow to such pressure, Hun Sen said.

“It’s no value if we cannot enforce our own law,” he said.

His reiteration came as the European Union (EU) is expected to make a final decision next month on whether to “totally or partially” suspend Cambodia’s duty-free trading access to the EU market under the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) scheme or not.

The EU started in February last year the 18-month process that could lead to the temporary suspension of the EBA scheme for Cambodia due to its concerns over human rights and labour rights.