The Cambodian government has rejected a request by Vietnamese government to grant Cambodian nationality to Vietnamese people living in the Kingdom, an official said.
The requested was made by the Vietnamese during the two-day conference held between the External Relations Committee of the three countries parliaments in Vietnam’s northern province of Quang Ninh over the weekend.
Speaking to reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport today after returning from Vietnam, Chheang Vun, Chairman of the National Assembly’s commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media, said that Vietnam had asked the Cambodian government to grant Cambodian citizenships to their people living in the country but the government turned it down.
“We have clearly responded that Cambodia has our own laws, including laws on nationality and immigration so we cannot grant them nationality automatically to all Vietnamese people living illegally in the Kingdom over the past,” Mr Vun said. “But they can apply for Cambodian nationality. It is required by our laws.”
“The issues of territory or nationality are very sensitive. If any parties dare to sacrifice those matters, political enemies will accuse us of betraying the nation,” he said. “So we cannot ignore the stance of the Royal government led by Samdech Techo Hun Sen. He has a strong stance in protecting territorial sovereignty and we cannot give nationality to somebody easily.”
In February, the Ministry of Interior reported that more than 81,864 out of 182,673 foreign nationals surveyed in the Kingdom are holding invalid Cambodian documents, noting that the majority of them are from Vietnam.
It said that it revoked 35,001 irregular Cambodia administration documents held by foreigners.