Don't meddle in our affairs: Cambodia tells US

Phnom Penh, Feb 22: Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Wednesday urged foreign countries, particularly the US, not to interfere in its internal affairs.

"I have not interfered in your internal affairs, so I suggest that you do not interfere in my internal affairs too," Xinhua news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

"As a sovereign state, we urge you to respect Cambodia's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," he said. "Cambodia cannot accept any interference from foreign countries."

The calls came after the US expressed strong concerns about the amendments to Cambodia's Law on Political Parties passed on Monday.

The amended legislation bars convicted politicians from leading a political party and empowers the Supreme Court to dissolve any political party over the conviction of a party top official.

The legal changes also ban political parties from causing secession or incitement, or other activities that could harm national security.

The US statement said the amendments gave the government broad authority to "restrict freedom of expression and the legitimate activities of political parties and, under vaguely defined circumstances, to dissolve them".

Hun Sen defended the amendments to the law, saying the legal changes would "not restrict the freedom of expression, but ensure national unity".