CAMBODIAN Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday expressed his support for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, saying the latter’s victory in the election would be good for world peace as it would reduce tensions with Russia.
According to Reuters, Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for over thirty years, echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that the billionaire entrepreneur was not interested in waging war with his country’s former cold war rival.
In a speech to thousands of police officers at a police academy ceremony, Hun Sen said: “I really want Trump to win.
“If Trump wins, the world will change and may be in a good situation because Trump is a businessman so he doesn’t want war … there can be friendship between Trump and Putin,” he said, alluding to Putin.
Throughout his term in office, Hun Sen has had a shaky relationship with the U.S. as the Washington was prone to criticizing his administration over human rights issues.
In recent weeks, Cambodia has been the subject of criticisms by the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations over Hun Sen’s treatment of the opposition.
Rights groups said Hun Sen and other leaders of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), including those in the armed forces and police, have over the last year made a series of increasingly dire public threats against the opposition. Cambodia is due to hold its elections in 2018.
Trump has been repeatedly criticized for failing to denounce the Russian leader and saying that he’d be willing to work with him to fight Islamic State militants.
Throughout the campaign trail, Trump and Putin have exchanged praises with the Russian president calling Trump “very talented” and the U.S. presidential candidate saying the Kremlin leader was better than U.S. President Barack Obama, Reuters reported.
However, Trump’s Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton had questioned his business interests in Russia, accusing his campaign of being to cozy with Moscow.
Hun Sen said Clinton was not a good candidate for president as she had advised Obama to mount attacks in war-torn Syria, adding U.S.-Russia relationship will further deteriorate if Clinton was elected into office next Tuesday.
Russia’s former Soviet Union had provided support to Cambodia for 10 years following the ousting of the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge in 1979.
Recently, Cambodia and Russia had bolster ties following the latter’s move to bring itself closer to Southeast Asian countries.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press