Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Inr/B Officer Soderborg for Tdy
DE RUEHPF #0480/01 0870347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280347Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8251
UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000480
STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP AND INR/B
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINR OTRA CB
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR INR/B OFFICER SODERBORG FOR TDY
TO PHNOM PENH
REF: SECSTATE 35229
1. Embassy Phnom Penh warmly welcomes and hereby grants country
clearance to INR/B Biographic Officer Brent Soderborg to Cambodia
from May 5, 2007 to May 11, 2007 to support mission biographic
programs and consultations with post officers.
2. Hotel reservations have been made at the Hotel Le Royal, as
requested. The room rate is within posted per diem. The hotel's
address is #92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun
Penh, Phnom Penh, phone number: 855-23-981-888, fax number:
3. Post's expediter will meet and assist upon arrival at Phnom Penh
4. The control officer for the visit is Janet Deutsch, Political
Officer arriving at Post on April 27, 2007. Office phone: (855) 23
728-118; Fax Number: (855) 23 728-888. Please contact Economic
Officer Curtis Gartenmann at GartenmannCM@state.gov until Janet
5. Visas: All visitors must have a Cambodian visa. The Mission
recommends that travelers entering the country on official or
diplomatic passports obtain a visa prior to traveling to Cambodia.
If this is not possible, visas may be obtained in the airport. In
this case, the traveler should bring a visa-sized photograph with
him for inclusion with the visa application. The immigration
authorities will generally waive the US $20.00 fee for travelers on
official and diplomatic passports; however, the traveler should be
prepared to pay the fee. Regular (tourist) passport holders will be
required to pay the fee.
6. Airport Departure Tax: Travelers departing Cambodia for an
international destination must pay a US $25.00 airport tax before
clearing passport control. Airport tax for travel to in-country
destinations is $6.00.
7. Security: Street crime remains a concern in Cambodia. Military
weapons and explosives remain readily available to criminals despite
efforts by authorities to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed
robberies occur frequently in
Phnom Penh, and while not specifically targeted, foreign residents
and visitors are among the victims. Victims of armed robberies are
reminded that they should not resist and should surrender their
valuables as any perceived resistance may be met with physical
violence to include lethal force.
Pickpockets and beggars are also present in the markets and at the
tourist sites. Persons visiting Cambodia should practice sound
personal security awareness by varying their routes and routines,
maintaining a low profile, not carrying or displaying large amounts
of cash, not wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, and not walking
the streets alone after dark. In addition, we recommend that
Americans travel by automobile and not use local moto-taxies or
cyclos for transportation. These vehicles are more vulnerable to
armed robberies and offer no protection against injury when involved
in traffic accidents. The Embassy provides an after-hours shuttle
service for U.S. Embassy employees and TDY visitors until midnight
at a cost of $1.00 per ride. Shuttle tickets may be purchased from
the embassy cashier during normal cashier hours.
The Heart of Darkness nightclub in Phnom Penh has been placed off
limits to all persons under the authority of the Chief of Mission
due to a number of safety and security incidents that have occurred
there. American citizens are also advised not to visit that
Political and labor related public demonstrations occur on a fairly
regular basis in the capital city, are generally peaceful and
conducted without notable incident. Nonetheless, these gatherings
have turned violent on occasion and the Embassy continues to advise
American citizens to avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and
political party offices where crowds may gather.
Precautions should also be taken not to discuss sensitive or
classified matters outside secure environments or over unsecured
and/or cellular telephones, and to securely safeguard classified or
sensitive materials at the Chancery and not at hotels or
8. Currency/Credit Cards: Cambodia is a U.S. dollar cash economy.
While the local currency - the Cambodia Riel - is in usage, dollars
are accepted for all transactions. Therefore, there is no need to
exchange currency. The Embassy Cashier will cash traveler checks
and personal checks of TDY personnel provided their social security
number and a photocopy of their passport are presented. A limited
number of establishments (including top hotels) accept credit cards.
A few banks will provide cash against credit cards but they charge a
hefty fee. Post recommends that visitors plan on using cash for
transactions outside their hotels.
9. Post looks forward to your visit.