Cambodian PM says Western sanctions would hurt opposition

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen says if Western countries impose threatened economic sanctions on his country, it would cause the death of the country's political opposition.

Hun Sen, speaking Monday at a road groundbreaking ceremony, was referring mostly to plans by the European Union to cancel an agreement giving imports from Cambodia preferential duty-free status.

The EU began the process of ending the agreement after last July's general election, in which Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party won all 125 National Assembly seats. The EU, along with other critics, charged the election was unfair and unfree because the sole credible opposition party was dissolved by court order in November 2017.

Hun Sen said without elaborating that if Western powers seek to punish Cambodia with sanctions, they would kill the country's opposition.