Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will resume helping the US find and recover the remains of US service personnel missing since the Vietnam War.
This was the content of the premier’s letter (dated Oct.12) to Doug Ericksen, GOP – Washington State Senate, and Vincent Buys, GOP – Washington House of Representatives.
The letter was in response to the Washingtonians’ written wish for the re-activation of the POW/MIA program in Cambodia and their appreciation of Cambodia’s on-going socio-economic and democratic progress.
Hun Sen: “As we have discussed before, and at your personal request as well as that made by other US organizations, my government, in the same compassionate spirit, agrees to resume this important POW/MIA field mission, regardless of the US visa restrictions now in place.”
He also wrote that Cambodia has always sought to elevate bilateral relations and deepen across-the-board cooperation with the US on the basis of shared interests and reciprocal respect.
The POW/MIA programme had been running successfully for more than 30 years before it was suspended after Cambodia was unjustly sanctioned for requesting more consideration from the US in the Cambodian repatriation issue.
In retaliation against the US visa sanctions, the PM announced on September 15, 2017 that Cambodia would suspend MIA programme activity.
Later, the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia requested the resumption of cooperation. The PM declined but said that Cambodia would continue its cooperation on finding American soldiers when the US resolves the visa restrictions imposed on Cambodia.