President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met today with 2022 ASEAN Chair Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. President Biden expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s leadership of ASEAN during a challenging year. The leaders reflected on the success of the historic U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC and welcomed plans to establish a U.S.-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership at the annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit later that day. They also discussed the crisis in Burma and ASEAN’s response, underscoring the international community has an important role to play in promoting a return to democracy and stability in Burma, and supporting the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. President Biden also expressed his appreciation for Cambodia co-sponsoring resolutions at the United Nations to support Ukraine against Russia’s brutal aggression.
The President raised concerns regarding the situation at Ream Naval Base and underscored the importance of full transparency about activities by the PRC military at Ream Naval Base. President Biden also urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to reopen civic and political space ahead of the 2023 elections. He also called for the release of activists detained on politically motivated charges, including U.S.-Cambodian dual citizen Seng Theary. President Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a more prosperous, democratic, and independent country.