Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn is to travel to Turkey to meet officials soon, ahead of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit later this year.
The announcement came after Mr Sokhonn yesterday met with Ilhan Kemal Tug, Turkey’s outgoing ambassador to Cambodia.
Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry told media that Mr Sokhonn will help arrange Mr Hun Sen’s upcoming visit, reflecting the progressive and developing relationship between the countries. “The main purpose of the minister’s trip will be to prepare for the official visit of the Prime Minister,” Mr Sounry said.
“During the meeting, the minister also encouraged government officials to prepare documents that will be signed during the premier’s trip.”
Mr Sounry said officials from both countries acknowledged that the relationship between the two countries was improving, but a direct flight connecting Phnom Penh and Ankara was yet to be launched.
“It’s time for both governments to encourage the launch of direct flights between Ankara and Phnom Penh, to boost economic, tourism and diplomatic relations,” he said.
In 2016, Cambodia welcomed more than 6,500 Turkish tourists, an increase of 14 percent compared with 2015.
During the first four months of 2017, 3,095 Turkish travellers visited the kingdom, an increase of 37 percent compared with the same period in 2016.
Cambodia and Turkey first established diplomatic relations in 1970, however both nations’ economic and political relations have been limited due to geographical distance.
Between 2015 and 2016, 10 Cambodian students took up Türkiye Scholarships at various Turkish universities.
The Turkish government has awarded 48 Cambodian students with full scholarships to study in Turkey since 1992.
Two-way trade volume between Cambodia and Turkey is still limited and was valued at about $30 million in 2016 and $75 million in 2017.