The British Embassy in Phnom Pehn was closed on Friday (21 March) and the six remaining staff members left on a U.
The British Embassy in Phnom Pehn was closed on Friday (21 March) and the six remaining staff members left on a U.S. aircraft for Saigon. It was the last Embassy of a large western power -- apart from the U.S. -- to remain in the besieged Khmer capital.
Most of the British Embassy personnel and their families were evacuated on 11 March.
Before, leaving, the Charge d'Affaires, Mr. Donald Middleton, said the closure was temporary and that he would remain in Saigon and attempt to return every few weeks if circumstances allowed.
The next day, in another part of the city, the armed forces commander, Chief of Staff Sak Sutsakhan, performed his first task as the country's new Minister of Defence. He reviewed a group of officers graduating from a military academy.
The move is an important part of a cabinet reshuffles made by Prime Minister Long Boret. It united the armed forces and civilian administration which have long been at loggerheads.
The appointment is seen as a move to bring the military firmly under control of the government.