Help clear mines, Canada urged

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Ambassador Donica Pottie meets Mr. Sokhonn. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia has asked Canada to consider resuming aid for demining.
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn made the request when he met Canadian ambassador Donica Pottie, who is based in Bangkok, at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.
Canada’s development aid for Cambodia, including assistance on demining, ended in 2002.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said that despite Cambodian government efforts to clear mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), the main challenge was a lack of funds to continue the work.
“During the meeting, the minister called on Canada to help Cambodia on demining operations,” Mr. Sounry said.       
“In response, Ms. Pottie pledged to find ways to help Cambodia in mine and UXO-clearing operations.”
Previously, Canada had offered aid to Cambodia mainly for agriculture, mine clearance, security and anti-human trafficking.
Mr. Sounry said that even though Canada’s development aid had ended, the economic relationship was moving forward.
He said that in 2015, trade between Cambodia and Canada was valued at about $580 million.
Diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Canada are managed by the Canadian embassy in Bangkok, however the embassy opened a diplomatic office in Phnom Penh in September 2015 to facilitate consular services for Canadians living in the kingdom.
In the same way, Cambodia’s representation in Canada is managed by the Cambodian mission to the United Nations in New York.
Relations between the two nations were established in 1953 when Canada participated in the International Control and Supervision Commission. Canada was also a signatory in the Paris Peace Accord in 1991 to help end the civil war in Cambodia.
In 2009, Canada provided about $900,000 in aid to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, also known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
Moreover, many Canadian NGOs are active in the kingdom, working in close cooperation with Cambodian civil society, mainly to promote development.

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