W. Patrick Murphy (Cameroon) nominated for ambassadorship


Thanks for the heads-up from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964–67) —

— from www.phnompenhpost.com/international


Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy

US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt.

A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US State Department.

He has served over 25 years in senior positions in the Foreign Service, including as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2016.

Murphy has also worked as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2013 to 2016 and as acting special representative and policy coordinator for Myanmar from 2012 to 2013.

US Embassy spokesman in Phnom Penh Arend Zwartjes said he has not been informed of the official nomination as yet since the appointment had to be approved by the US Senate.

While on a visit to the Kingdom in December of last year, Murphy criticised the arrest of former Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader Kem Sokha and the subsequent dissolution of his party. At that time he urged Cambodia to “return to democracy”.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said the appointment affirmed that the US accepted the new Cambodia People’s Party-led government and that the US would have good relations with the Kingdom.

“This shows strengthening relations and cooperation. If the US didn’t like the sixth mandate government, they would not put in another ambassador. They would lower it to just a Chargé d’Affaires.

“So, it means they accept [the new government],” he said stressing that Cambodia and the US are not enemies.

Professor of political science So Chantha said that even though there’s a new ambassador, he will still follow the US’ established foreign policy. He said in the geopolitical context, Cambodia could be the frontline for shaky US-China relations.

“The future of US-Cambodia relations may not change for a more positive stance so long as both parties do not accept each other’s demands,” he said.

Patrick was a PCV in Cameroon from 1985-87. He taught English in Yagoua, Cameroon.
In 2016 when he was the charge d’affaires in Thailand, he swore in the new PCVs. This was one of his comments in greeting the new Volunteers and swearing them into the Peace Corps.
“Delivering the oath to new Peace Corps  Volunteers is always a great honor, launching them on their journey of service — and doing so as a former PCV. This was the fifth group of Volunteers I’ve sworn in during my career, and they represent the best we have: 62 terrific and diverse Americans, ranging in age from 22 to 68 years and hailing from 28 different U.S. states with amazing experiences and backgrounds to tackle the challenges they face ahead. They’ll be working with youth and educators over the next two years across the Kingdom of Thailand. Toughest job they’ll ever love!”
Photo thanks to Bill Strassberger (PC Cameroon Staff 1983–86)


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