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PM: We welcome overseas Cambodians in US back home

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Ven Rathavong
Prime Minister Hun Sen met with workers on Wednesday. Ven Rathavong

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will receive the Cambodians who had taken refuge in the US after 1994.

The announcement was made after the US requested the Cambodia government to receive Cambodians who went to US after 1994.

Last Month, US Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt met with Interior Minister Sar Kheng at the ministry and talked about the deportation of Cambodians convicted of crime in US as well as the issue of Cambodians who arrived in the US after 1994.

Speaking with thousands of workers on Wednesday, Mr. Hun Sen said that the US counterpart had asked to receive Cambodians who went to live in US after the said period.

“Now the US wants to repatriate them,” he said, adding that Cambodia could have an agreement with the US to receive them.

“As the Prime Minister of Cambodia, I declare to receive our brothers and sisters from the US and will not allow anyone to mistreat [all of you], Mr. Hun Sen said, adding that he will not let Cambodian people suffer like other nationals who were refugee and who were placed on an island.

However the premier asked the US to provide air tickets for them and other aid like pocket money for several months or a year.

He ordered the Foreign and Interior Ministries to work on this issue and negotiate with their US counterpart.

In August, the US imposed visa restrictions on Foreign Affairs Ministry officials over the government’s alleged lackluster cooperation in repatriating Cambodian nationals convicted of crimes.

Between 2002 and 2016, 549 people were forced to return to Cambodia.

Cambodia has asked the United States to delay the deportation of some of its citizens convicted of crimes in the US due to serious sicknesses and to wait until they get treatment. There are an estimated 26 people remaining.

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