Friday, March 12, 2010

Cambodia’s Army Learns Foreign Languages to Expand military Cooperation

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

H.E. Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the National Defence, said that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) will start learning English and other foreign languages to expand the army’s international military cooperation in regions of the world.

The Deputy Prime Minister continued to say that English, Chinese, Japanese and French are the requirement and necessary languages that all the RCAF troops should learn and know to communicate and expand Cambodian army’s international cooperation with other countries in the regions and in the world for the next five years.

“We have to pay more attention to the problem of languages in our defence work because there are about 100 military meetings and workshops at the international levels which will take place in the next five years,” he said. “I think that if we don’t know the foreign languages such English, French, Chinese, Japanese or other languages, we can not deal or expand our army’s international military cooperation with other countries in the regions and in the world,” he said during a military workshop on March 2.

Tea Banh pointed out that over the past five years the RCAF troops had expanded its international military activities and involvements with Cambodian de-miners, participating in a number of UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, and the Central African Republic and other countries.

“Therefore, to communicate and expand our military sector into the international military cooperation, I would like to suggest that the RCAF officials or troops should prepare themselves and learn the foreign languages from now on,” he added.

Despite the bilateral cooperation with other militaries are already strong, RCAF troops will be required to learn languages such as English, French, Japanese, Chinese, and other languages in the next five years in order to further facilitate links and cooperation, he said.

Prak Sokhon, Secretary of State in Council Ministers and also Chairman of the National Coordination Committee of UN Peacekeeping Operations in Ministry of National Defence, said that the RCAF has gained an international reputation for its skilled de-mining teams and is keen to expand its missions abroad.

Prak Sokhon said that UN peacekeeping now is becoming a competitive business, and is also a strong challenge to Cambodian participation. He added that if Cambodia’s de-miners were able to lobby the United Nations they will be sent to work in Lebanon in the future.

He added that the government also plans to send a military attaché to New York in order to strengthen its ability to lobby the UN for a greater role in peacekeeping operations.

Relating to the Cambodian peacekeepers, Prak Sokhon said that until today, about 600 Cambodian de-miners, peacekeepers and engineers have sent to participate in the UN missions in Africa and Sudan.

He added that over 1,000 soldiers now were training in preparation for future UN peacekeeping operations in which the next Cambodian peacekeeper team will leave Cambodia for Chad in May 2010. ///

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