By Meng Bill
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Monday that her country will broaden and deepen partnership with Cambodia with an aim to help its development.
Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with Hor Namhong, Cambodia's deputy prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs, Hillary Clinton said the United States and Cambodia will "broaden and deepen our partnership".
"This is my sixth trip to Asia as secretary of state, but my first trip to Cambodia. It represents the commitment that President Obama and I have made to restoring America to high level of engagement to Asia-Pacific region, and in particular, to work with the government and the people of the country such as Cambodia, " she said.
"We can work even more closely together to help meet the challenges facing Cambodia and all Southeast Asia. Cambodia is doing more than ever before to improving health system, in particular, on HIV/AIDS. We will be helping the people of Cambodia mounts a comprehensive fight against the hunger by raising agricultural productivity and making nutrition foods more widely available," she added.
Speaking at the same press conference, Hor Namhong said the United States has helped Cambodia in many sectors including health, education and demining.
And now, he said, Cambodia is requesting the United States to provide more tax exemptions for Cambodian goods exporting to U.S. market, saying the United States is a huge market for Cambodia with the total trades of nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars.
He said such volumes are helping Cambodia in social and economic development.
Both Hillary Clinton and Hor Namhong have shared some other points during the discussions including the Cambodia's debt to the United States, the Office of the UN Human Rights in Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge trial.
Clinton said a team of experts will come and resume talks with Cambodia on the debt issue.
Cambodia has asked the United States to cancel the debt that it has owed since 1970s which is now amounting to around 445 million U.S. dollars.
Cambodia has blamed the present country's representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia as a spokesman of the country's opposition party and wants him to be removed or the office closed, but Clinton is suggesting the office to continue and work with Cambodian government.
Hor Namhong said there are more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations, and more than 100 of which are working on human rights issues in Cambodia.
For Khmer Rouge trial, Clinton said the United States will continue to help it, especially on the shortage of fund to proceed with the case for the trial of four aging leaders.
Clinton is making a two-day visit, the first visit to the country by a U.S. Secretary of State since Colin Powell visited Cambodia to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum in 2003.
Clinton spent the whole day on Sunday in Siem Reap and toured Angkor temples.
During her stay in Phnom Penh, Clinton met with several government leaders including Prime Minister Hun Sen and Hor Namhong as well as having an audience with King Norodom Sihamoni.
Clinton leaves Cambodia late Monday for Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia.
Editor: Wang Guanqun