US Answers Citizenship Threat by PM

The U.S. Embassy has responded to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s threat to revoke his grandchild’s citizenship, saying it could not confirm whether any of his grandchildren in fact held U.S. citizenship, but directed him to the U.S. State Department website for help in case he wanted to follow through.

Mr. Hun Sen made his threat in a far-ranging speech on Thursday without identifying the grandchild, saying he was afraid the child would be drafted into a U.S.-sponsored war in a story that made international headlines.

“We are aware that a number of the Prime Minister’s children have spent significant time in the United States, but we are unable to confirm if any of their children are U.S. citizens,” U.S. Embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes wrote in an email on Friday. “We rarely receive requests from American citizens wanting to revoke citizenship, but there are clear procedures for adult American citizens who wish to renounce citizenship at www.travel.state.gov.”

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he did not know which grandchild Mr. Hun Sen was referencing.

Mr. Hun Sen’s eldest child, Lieutenant General Hun Manet, and youngest son, CPP lawmaker Hun Many, both attended university in the U.S. Mr. Many also attended high school there, according to his Facebook page.

The educational background of his other three children—his daughters Hun Mana and Hun Maly, and middle son, Major General Hun Manith, could not be confirmed, though a diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks in 2011 said that Maj. Gen. Manith was vetted by the embassy in 2009 to attend a U.S.-funded defense institute in Germany.

[email protected]

© 2017, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.