Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told former Irish Premier Enda Patrick Kenny that it would be EU’s third mistake against Cambodia if the EU withdrew the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferences from Cambodia as lobbied by the opposition groups.
The statement was made during Enda’s courtesy call on Premier Hun Sen on Saturday at the Peace Palace, Phnom Penh.
“The EU’s first mistake was supporting coup in Cambodia during 1970s; the second was supporting Khmer Rouge to occupy the UN seat for 12 years; and the third, even the EU just decided to set in motion the formal procedure, once realized, it will become the third mistake of EU’s democratic countries against Cambodia,” the premier stated, according to his personal secretary Eang Sophalleth.
Cambodia watcher based in Phnom Penh Thomas Fowler wrote that the EU will commit a serious mistake if it decides to remove EBA from Cambodia. The EU should instead continue to help Cambodia to develop its economy and gradually build democratic governance. Cambodia can be the bridge and beacon of democracy in the Mekong region as no country in the GMS is currently implementing a democratic system better than Cambodia.
The Premier first told the EU to avoid the withdrawal once in a courtesy call on representatives of ASEAN-EU Business Council in his recent trip to Brussels.
EU has assisted Cambodia on all sectors. If the EU decided to withdraw EBA, EU will abandon everything they have done for Cambodia over the past years.
Head of the Royal Government of Cambodia Samdech Techo Hun Sen underlined that the EU’s decision to begin the formal procedure of EBA withdrawal is being used as a psychological warfare to attack the Royal Government of Cambodia under the excuse of poor democracy and violations of human rights.