Remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry Before the Meeting With Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phnom Penh
January 26, 2016

Well, thank you, Mr. Foreign Minister. Thank you very much. It’s very – it’s good to be back in Cambodia. As you said, I have been here many times. I worked with the Prime Minister a long time ago to help set up the tribunal for accountability of the Khmer Rouge. And we worked very closely. And we thank you for your help in gaining accountability of those missing from the war in the neighborhood during the 1960s and 1970s.

So we’ve made progress on that. But, very importantly, we’ve also made a lot of progress in the last years on our relationship with respect to the development of Cambodia. We have the possibility now, with the Sunnylands summit, of working on our bilateral investment treaty.

The progress you have made in Cambodia is quite remarkable. You have moved from extreme poverty, from a very small economy, to an economy that is growing very significantly, and lifted many of your people out of poverty.

So we look forward to continuing to work with you on health, on the environment, on the Mekong River Initiative, and we have a great deal to talk about, obviously, about regional security issues, and I look forward to our conversation. But thank you for the welcome.

And I might say I just came from your national museum of cultural history, and it’s really very, very impressive, what you are doing there, the work you are doing. It’s a UNESCO site in Cambodia that is so important, culturally, to the world. And so we really congratulate you for that. And hopefully we can even grow that kind of cooperation. Thank you.