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Monday, January 16, 2012

U.S. secretary of state, president to visit Cambodia this year: officials

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The United States'Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama will visit Cambodia in July and November respectively to attend summits as Cambodia chairs ASEAN this year, senior officials said on Monday.

"Our Secretary of State will be here in July as well as our President will be in November," Joseph Y. Yun, deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U. S. Department of State, told reporters after a meeting with Ouch Borith, secretary of state for Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said that the meeting is to inform Cambodia about the upcoming U.S. leaders' visits and to discuss how to build U.S.- Cambodia relationship in 2012 through these high-level visits.

"We have really had a very exciting year ahead to strengthen U. S.-Cambodia relationship," he said.

Ouch Borith said Hillary Clinton will attend the AMM (ASEAN Ministerial Meeting) and Barack Obama will attend the ASEAN-U.S. Summit and related Summits.

"This reflects increasing relationship between the United States and ASEAN," he told reporters."The presence of the U.S. President Barack Obama in Cambodia in November is a sign showing that the Cambodia-U.S. relation is better."

It will be the first time in Cambodia's history that the incumbent President of the United States visiting Cambodia.

In the meeting, both sides also discussed about the plan for Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong's visit to Washington D.C. in March this year to strengthen Cambodia-U.S. cooperation.
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LEAD: Cambodia claims final say over appointment of tribunal judge

Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government said Monday that the country's judiciary has the right to decline to appoint a United Nations-nominated judge to the Khmer Rouge war crimes tribunal.

The controversial claim was made by a government spokesman and followed unconfirmed reports from local media that judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet was not endorsed as the court's new international co-investigating judge at a meeting of Cambodia's Supreme Council of Magistracy (SCM) on Friday.

Swiss national Kasper-Ansermet, who had been in limbo for a month until Phnom Penh convened the judicial body, was set to replace controversial German judge Siegfried Blunk. Blunk quit in October citing political interference in two cases currently under investigation, known as Cases 003 and 004.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan declined to confirm the result of Monday's meeting, but emphasised that the body had the power to decide whether to approve a judge or not.

Analysts, however, believe that the SCM may be stretching the limits of its mandate and driving the tribunal deeper into controversy.

'I think this situation has moved from bad to worse. If the SCM has rejected his appointment, it has totally overstepped its authority,' said Clair Duffy, tribunal monitor for Open Society Justice Initiative.

'It is really about Kasper-Ansermet's intention to investigate Cases 003 and 004.'

Senior Cambodian officials have repeatedly said that the government would not permit either case to reach trial at the court. In contrast, Kasper-Ansermet has taken to Twitter to emphasise his commitment to them.

On Sunday, he tweeted in French that he was determined to investigate the cases; a move that he implied could explain 'the resistance of some to my official nomination.'

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, said Monday: 'We have not received any communication from the Royal Government of Cambodia' regarding the status of the Swiss judge's formal appointment.
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Sinohydro's first overseas BOT project begins operation

By Xu Keqiang

Cambodia's Kamchay Hydropower Station, the first overseas Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) hydropower project entirely funded by Sinohydro Group, was recently completed and put into commercial operation, marking a new stage in the overseas expansion of China's hydropower industry.

The 194-megawatt Kamchay Hydropower Station cost Sinohydro 300 million U.S. dollars over four years of construction, and the company is licensed to operate the hydropower station for 40 years before transferring it to the Cambodian government.

Sinohydro has adopted the creative BOT project-financing model with limited recourse, and used the project's future revenue as collateral, in order to reduce its investment risk.

AS China's leading hydropower engineering and construction company, Sinohydro has accumulated abundant technical and talent resources in water resource development over the past 60 years. It is also one of the world's largest contractors and developers of hydropower projects, and enjoys comparative advantage over its competitors worldwide.

While holding water conservancy and hydropower construction as its core business, Sinohydro is actively expanding into the upstream and downstream sectors, investing in international resource development projects, and conducting merger and acquisition activity abroad, in order to promote its structural transformation and international business expansion.
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Malaria kills 98 Cambodians, down 35% in 2011

PHNOM PENH - Malaria had killed 98 Cambodians in 2011, a decline of 35 percent from 151 deaths in a year earlier, said a senior health official on Monday.

Last year, some 62,690 cases of malaria had been reported, said Char Meng Chuor, the director of the National Center for Malaria.

"We see our remarkable success in fighting malaria in the past year--despite the rise in malaria cases, the death toll has declined up to 35 percent," he told Xinhua over telephone. "This is thanks to people's awareness about the symptoms of the disease and they have timely sought medical treatment."

He said that with this good result, the country would definitely be able to completely eradicate the death of malaria by 2015.

"To achieve this target, we need the budget of $20 million a year in the next four years," he said.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease. In Cambodia, the disease is often found in rainy season and mostly happens in border provinces, forest and mountainous provinces such as Pursat, Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kampong Cham, and Preah Vihear.
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Cuba eyes cooperation with Cambodia

PHNOM PENH - Cuba wants to cooperate with Cambodia in the fields of agriculture and health in order to strengthen and expand bilateral ties, said the new designated Cuban ambassador to Cambodia Jose Ramon R. Yarona on Monday.

Jose Ramon R. Yarona made the comments during a meeting with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace.

He said Cuba and Cambodia have the possibility of launching cooperation in agriculture, pesticides and health, especially medicines for cancer prevention.

Meanwhile, he also invited the premier to visit Cuba at an appropriate time.

In response, Hun Sen accepted the invitation and said that he would make a visit to Cuba sometime in the future.

He recommended Jose Ramon R. Yarona to work with Cambodia's ministries of agriculture and health to seek cooperation in the proposed fields.

Cambodia and Cuba have established diplomatic relations for 50 years, but bilateral trade and investment are relatively small.
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