Cambodia is closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East region following an escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States which have led to drone and missile strikes in Iraq.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong yesterday said that Cambodia, as well as other countries, are closely monitoring developments in the region.
“We are paying close attention to the tensions between Iran and the United States,” he said. “We are very concerned that escalating tensions could lead to a big conflict.”
“Cambodia encourages both parties to exercise restraint and resolve their differences peacefully,” Mr Kuong added.
AFP news agency reported that Iran yesterday fired missiles at military bases housing US military personnel in revenge for a US drone strike which killed a top Iranian general in Iraq.
Launched from Iranian territory and by Iranian forces and not by a proxy, the attack marked a new turn in the intensifying confrontation between the United States and Iran and sent world oil prices soaring, it said.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps announced that the Ain al-Asad base was hit with dozens of missiles, in response to Friday’s killing of General Qasem Soleimani, one of the most important figures in the country’s government.
“Even though it is happening in the Middle East, a conflict could affect the rest of the world,” Mr Kuong said when asked if the Iran-US tensions would impact Asean countries. “As a member of the United Nations, Cambodia seeks peace in the world and does not want to see any bloody conflict.”
Chheang Vannarith, president of Asian Vision Institute, yesterday said via email that proxy wars and conflicts can potentially proliferate very fast if there is no mechanism to de-escalate tensions and restraint the parties concerned from using force and respect international law.
“The escalating tensions in the Middle East is a matter of concern for global security as the US and Iran have opted for military measures,” he said. “Security in Asia is affected especially concerning energy security.”