Vietnam grants citizenship to Cambodian refugees: UN

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Vietnam has granted citizenship to nearly 300 Cambodians who fled the Khmer Rouge regime, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, adding it hoped around 2,000 more would receive Vietnamese passports soon.

Most of the group had fled to Vietnam in 1975. Up to two million people perished in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime spanning 1975 to 1979.

"UNHCR applauds the efforts of Vietnam to end statelessness for 2,357 former Cambodian refugees, a legacy of the Pol Pot regime," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

About 287 former refugees had received their citizenship last Friday.

"By the end of the year, we expect the remaining 2,070 will also have their citizenship," Edwards said.

"All speak Vietnamese and have integrated fully," said Edwards.

© 2010 AFP

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