Duterte to visit Cambodia, sign transnational crime MOU

Philippines president to arrive Dec. 13 at invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni, and will also hold bilateral talks with PM

Duterte to visit Cambodia, sign transnational crime MOU

World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, whose zero-tolerance to drugs crackdown has seen thousands of people killed since July, will visit Cambodia next week for the first time since assuming the role.

Cambodia’s foreign ministry announced the visit on its website Friday, saying Duterte is due to arrive Dec. 13 at the invitation of King Norodom Sihamoni, and will also hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The two are set to ink memoranda of understanding on combating transnational crime and sports cooperation, the ministry said.

Questions about transnational crime were sent to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime in Bangkok, which did not immediately respond, but these typically include the trafficking of drugs and persons.

Duterte, 71, the former mayor of Davao City, swept to power in May after an intense election campaign during which he vowed to crush crime and corruption across the archipelago with an iron fist.

Although Duterte has repeatedly denied involvement in vigilantism, critics claim that since he took office June 30 his election promise has manifested in the form of summary executions of drug pushers, with thousands more people arrested and jailed.

Cambodia and the Philippines, both members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), formally established diplomatic relations in 1957.

In July, an arbitration court in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in a case it had brought against China over the latter’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Later that month, after meeting in Laos, ASEAN foreign ministers finally released a joint communique that included concerns about the South China Sea issue, after Cambodia initially blocked mention of the topic.

The statement did not mention the court ruling.

In 2012, the ministers failed to release a joint communique after Cambodia insisted that the bloc should not get involved in the issue.

Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2016, 14:10
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