Gulf States’ Aid for Cambodia’s Cham Muslims Raises U.S. Concerns

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — U.S. policymakers have raised security concerns about radical Islamic charities in Cambodia after delegations from Kuwait and Qatar promised $700 million in soft loans and investment for the country’s embattled infrastructure. In an August speech, U.S. ambassador Joseph Mussomeli said militant groups are vying for influence over the country’s Cham Muslims, and that Gulf states should “be careful” where the money goes. Gulf delegates dismissed U.S. worries, claiming their interests in Cambodia — garnering food security by investing in Cambodia’s unused rice fields — are economic, not cultural. But with $5 million of the loans earmarked […]

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