Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that he is prepared to be met with protests in October when he travels to Turkey and Belgium for a series of meetings with Asean, Turkish and European officials.
“I plan to fly to Brussels on October 17, in the evening,” he said, noting that the meetings will take place on October 18 and 19.
“Some countries will have overseas Cambodians protesting my visits,” he added. “So please, continue to protest.”
Mr Hun Sen added that he is prepared to mobilise his own supporters in the countries to counter the protests, noting that they far outnumber his detractors.
During a visit to Australia in March, Cambodians protested his presence in the country following the dissolution of the CNRP in November in the wake of its leader Kem Sokha being jailed on treason charges.
Expecting the same predicament in October over the recent national election, Mr Hun Sen made it clear during a speech to garment workers yesterday that such protests do not worry him.
Mr Hun Sen is set to meet European Council President Donald Tusk and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following invitations to attend Asean-EU meetings.
Before ending his speech, Mr Hun Sen noted that he will not attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 25 due to obligations at home to form the new government on September 21.
“I see no viable time for me to travel,” he said. “But I will send our new Foreign Affairs Minister to deliver a speech at the UN.”
Mr Hun Sen did not reveal who the new minister would be.
Following the election on Sunday, Cambodians living in the United States rallied against Mr Hun Sen’s government and the election process, calling it a “Funeral for Democracy”.