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Monday, December 14, 2009

U.S. to help boost Cambodia's seaport security for avoiding nuclear smuggling

PHNOM PENH, The United States on Monday inked an agreement with Cambodia to help the latter to strengthen the seaport security to avoid the nuclear smuggling and other radioactive material in the country.

Carol A. Rodley, U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, and Cambodian Senior Minister Om Yen Tieng signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments at the Secretariat of the National Counter terrorism Committee (SNCTC) in Phnom Penh, a press release from the U.S. Embassy said. The agreement launched a cooperative effort to help deter, detect, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material.

"The agreement, known as the Megaports Initiative, paves the way for the Kingdom of Cambodia to install radiation detection equipment at the Autonomous Port of Sihanoukville," it said.

According to the agreement, in addition to providing equipment and related infrastructure, the United States will also train Cambodian officials on the use and maintenance of the equipment.

"The installation of radiation detection equipment at the port will improve Cambodia's ability to monitor cargo at this critical location and underscores the importance of the country's seaports in regional maritime security," it added.

It said that the Megaports Initiative is now operational at 28 ports around the world. Work is underway at additional ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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