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Cambodia accuses US ambassador of lying about aid cuts

Cambodia’s prime minister on Saturday accused Washington of lying about a recent decision to suspend aid to the Southeast Asian nation, claiming that the country stopped receiving US aid in 2016. The Trump administration announced on Tuesday it was suspending aid programs that support Cambodia’s military, taxation department and local government. But Prime Minister Hun Sen accused US Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt of lying about the cuts, saying that Cambodia’s tax department stopped receiving US assistance in 2016. “Please, US ambassador, answer this one question: why did you announce cutting aid while there is no aid? Do you intend to distort the reputation of Cambodia?” Hun Sen said in a speech given in the southern province of Preah Sihanouk. A government spokesman had earlier called the US aid cut “disrespectful” and “dishonest.” Washington has accused Hun Sen of targeting non-governmental organizations, opposition politicians and independent media ahead of July elections.