19 May 2024
Cambodia stated its reason for preventing the US from visiting all naval bases 5

Cambodia stated its reason for preventing the US from visiting all naval bases 5

Cambodian officials said the US side requested to visit a location at the Ream base that was not included in the previous agreement, so they rejected this request.

On June 12, Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defense issued a statement confirming that the country refused to allow the US delegation to access all facilities inside the Ream naval base during their visit the day before.

The ministry said it was `very willing` to organize a visit to the Ream base for the delegation of the US military attache according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision, and had organized `a number of important activities` inside.

`These activities include a meeting lasting more than an hour, a visit to two newly built buildings to house workers, a tour of the dock and warship, a visit to an Australian-built ship repair yard, and a visit to a hospital.

The visit begins at 9:30 a.m. and lasts for about three hours.

This location is believed to be a facility upgraded by China inside the Ream base.

Cambodian soldiers and warships at Ream naval base in July 2019.

`Aware of the irregularity and determining that Cambodia’s sovereignty was not respected and intending to ignore the guarantee of military secrecy, the Cambodian side refused the above request. The US military attache still insisted on making the request.`

After leaving the Ream base, the US embassy in Cambodia issued a press release saying that the host country refused to allow Colonel Marcus Ferrara, military attache, `access to the entire infrastructure` during the visit.

The Cambodian Ministry of National Defense said the US embassy’s response was `trying to create new problems and distort the truth, which could cause negative impacts on defense relations between the two countries`.

`The Cambodian Ministry of National Defense calls on the US embassy to stop creating new negative situations, asking the US to respect Cambodia’s sovereignty and military secrets,` the statement said.

Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defense announced that it will carefully review future requests, but affirmed that all approved activities in military facilities `are visits, not inspections or searches.`

The visit on June 11 was organized according to the agreement between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and at the request of US military attache Ferrara.

Cambodia stated its reason for preventing the US from visiting all naval bases

The US-funded building area (below) in July 2020 and the newly built facility (above) on May 21.

In a report published on May 21 and updated a week later, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discovered two buildings built

Cambodian officials late last year razed the US-built structure and built two new buildings, raising concerns that China could benefit from upgrading the Ream naval base.

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