Dear Khmer Times readers,
On behalf of Embassy of the United States of America, I invite all Cambodians to join Americans everywhere in celebrating the Fourth of July! Today, as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, I am proud to commemorate both our 244th Independence Day and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
The United States and Cambodia first established official ties 70 years ago this month, in July 1950, when U.S. envoy Donald R. Heath presented his credentials to King Sihanouk. This was three years before Cambodia’s own independence, and the United States subsequently made many contributions to the Kingdom’s early development as a free and independent nation.
This year is a special year for the U.S-Cambodia relationship. In collaboration with our Cambodian friends and partners, we are commemorating the 70th anniversary by highlighting areas of successful collaboration between our two countries, our shared history and common values, and the enduring connections between the Cambodian and American peoples.
Each month, the U.S. Embassy spotlights an area of our sustained cooperation – including agriculture, youth, education, trade, gender equality, the environment, and democracy and human rights, among others. Our partnership has yielded positive results in Cambodia, including post-conflict recovery and accountability, economic development, improved nutrition, regional integration, expanding commerce, and impressive gains in combatting infectious diseases. The United States has benefited, too. We remain grateful for Cambodian assistance in accounting for American personnel missing from the Indochina conflict period and for Cambodia’s contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
Like families and neighbors, we have weathered some differences throughout the past 70 years. Nonetheless, the bedrock of the U.S.-Cambodia relationship endures: dynamic people-to-people ties and the NGOs, universities, students, businesses, and tourists who foster understanding and strengthen bonds that can bring us through any challenge, including the current global pandemic.
Justice and equality are cornerstones of American democracy and our nation. On Independence Day, we take pride in our history, even as we acknowledge that we do not always meet the ideals of our nation’s founding. Through the full and free participation of all American voices, we can bring about peaceful change to become a “more perfect union” – the goal of all democracies.
As we were 70 years ago, Americans are committed to a healthy, prosperous, and independent Cambodia and to helping all Cambodians enjoy the democratic principles enshrined in their own constitution. Thank you for joining us in celebrating America’s 244 years of independence and in looking forward to many more years of friendly ties between the United States and Cambodia.
H.E. W. Patrick Murphy
United States of America
Ambassador to Cambodia