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Cablegate: Cambodian Pm Lauds Peace Corps Arrival

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPF #0530 1000156
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100156Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8297

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000530

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS
PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR RON TSCHETTER

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID SOCI CB
SUBJECT: CAMBODIAN PM LAUDS PEACE CORPS ARRIVAL

1. (SBU) Summary. Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter visited
Cambodia April 2-5, 2007, during which he officiated at the
swearing-in ceremony for the first Peace Corps volunteers in
Cambodia, had an audience with King Norodom Sihamoni and met with
Prime Minister Hun Sen. The meeting with the Prime Minister was
positive, with both Director Tschetter and the Prime Minister
underscoring friendship between the peoples of the U.S. and
Cambodia. The Ambassador congratulated Hun Sen on the recent
elections, emphasizing the orderly and non-violent process. The
Prime Minister responded that a multi-party democracy is a necessity
in Cambodia. End Summary.

Meeting with PM Hun Sen
-----------------------

2. (SBU) Director Tschetter thanked the Prime Minister
for the warmth and hospitality with which Peace Corps had been
received in Cambodia. He talked about the ability of Peace Corps
Volunteers (PCVs) to learn from their Cambodian colleagues and host
families and bring that understanding back to America. He
emphasized the need to build understanding and friendship, as well
as technical skills, to make a better future for both countries. He
closed by inviting the Prime Minister to visit the Peace Corps
Offices in Washington.

3. (SBU) The Prime Minister mentioned that he was
particularly moved that the Peace Corps Volunteers took an oath to
serve the interests of the people of America, and was glad that they
would be serving the interests of the Cambodian people as well. He
was impressed in seeing PCVs speaking the Khmer language on
television, and heard positive comments from people in the training
communities. The PM is confident that the PCVs will be integrated
into Cambodian society and become a part of their new families. He
assured Director Tschetter with respect to the safety of the PCVs in
their communities, and hoped that the experience will bind together
the peoples of Cambodia and the United States.

4. (SBU) The Ambassador offered his congratulations on the recent
commune elections and summarized the observations of the Embassy
election monitoring teams. He noted that the elections were orderly
and peaceful, and candidates appeared to be respectful of one
another.

5. (SBU) The Prime Minister responded by noting the importance of
a multi-party system for a sustainable democracy. He said that if
there is cooperation before an election, everyone can feel safe
after the election. He added that PCVs can help to educate
Cambodian people about democracy, multi-party political systems and
transparent elections. One day CPP will lose the election, said the
PM, and when that happens, he will be glad to transfer authority to
a new Prime Minister.

MUSSOMELI

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