Phnom Penh (FN), Jun. 11 – Cambodian Ministry of National Defense, on Friday, dismissed the US Embassy’s statement on access dispute to Ream Port.

The US defense attaché visited the Ream Port in Sihanoukville on Friday after receiving permission from the Royal Government of Cambodia. The visit includes searching from place to place, which is beyond their request.

Following the visit, the US has issued a statement claiming that Cambodia did not provide full access.

A senior official of Cambodian Defense Ministry claimed that the US intention to visit the Ream Port was not to clear doubt regarding the setup of Chinese military base in Cambodia, but to ignore the truth and create problems for the benefits of their geopolitics.

“They are pretending. They should know that the Kingdom has sovereignty and laws, but they have their hidden agendas for geopolitical gains,” General Nem Sowath, Special Advisor to Defense Minister Tea Banh told Fresh News today.

During a visit to the Ream Port on 11 June 2021, US defense attaché Colonel Marcus M. Ferrara visited several sites.

"We took him to Ream Port which he suspected was a Chinese military base, then we took him to another Australian-aided workshop nearby. He also wanted to visit the hospital, so we brought him there. Finally, we took him to see the new location of the front line command office of the National Committee of Maritime Security on Koh Preap," said Lt. Gen. Suon Samnang, deputy director of the Defense Ministry’s foreign affairs department who accompanied the visit of US defense attaché.

"He tried to search for other places that were not necessary and not in their requests. His visits almost reach our kitchen and bedroom. It is the interferences into our heart," Samnang added.

Following the visit, the US Embassy in Cambodia wrote on social media stating that Cambodia does not allow the US military full access to Ream Port.

“Cambodian military officials refused to allow the defense attaché full access to the Naval Base... Colonel Ferrara ended the tour and requested Cambodian military officials reschedule the visit with full access at the earliest opportunity," the US Embassy of Phnom Penh wrote on its Facebook page.

In response to this statement, General Nem Sowath made it clear that Cambodian side had fully fulfilled the US’s request to visit Ream Port.

"What the embassy wrote has violated the truth," Sowath underlined.

Several US media outlets have accused Cambodia for allowing China to set up military bases on her territory.

Cambodia has repeatedly denied the allegations, as the Cambodian government firmly adheres to the principles of independence and neutrality enshrined in the Constitution, which strictly forbids the presence of any foreign military base in the Kingdom.

“Our constitution make it clear that Cambodia shall not permit any foreign military base on its territory and shall not have its own military base abroad, except within the framework of a United Nations request. We have informed them many times, yet they do not use their ears to listen.”