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PM says Cambodia is non-aligned country

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen will be leaving for India on Wednesday. Supplied

Prime Minister Hun Sen will pay an official visit to India next week, and has reiterated that Cambodia is a non-aligned state.

Speaking with thousands of workers in Phnom Penh, Mr Hun Sen said he would attend the Asean-India Summit, Republic Day celebrations and pay an official visit to India.

He added he could not have his usual meeting with workers next week because he would be departing for India on Wednesday and returning that Sunday.

Mr Hun Sen said his visit to India showed that Cambodia’s foreign policy was neutral and non-aligned.

Last week, Chinese premier Li Keqiang paid a visit to the kingdom to enhance China-Cambodia ties. His visit coincided with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both sides signed multiple agreements.

“Next, I will pay a visit to India which is a country of 1.2 billion people. This is Cambodia’s foreign policy moving forward,” he said.

“We have been implementing a foreign policy that is neutral and non-aligned,” he added, saying Cambodia built relationships with all countries to push for societal and economic development.

Minister Attached to the Prime Minister Sry Thamrong said Mr Hun Sen would meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while declining to give further details. The Foreign Affairs Ministry would release an itinerary for his visit soon, he added.

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry could not be reached for comment.

In May, Mr Sounry told media after a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and outgoing Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Naveen Srivastava that the visit aimed to enhance and expand bilateral cooperation between both sides.

Yang Peou, political analyst and secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that building good relationships with other countries would benefit Cambodia.

He agreed with Mr Hun Sen saying that Cambodia was non-aligned and neutral, while others have criticised the kingdom for being too close to China.

“Our foreign policy should bring benefits to the country,” Mr Peou said, adding that neutrality and non-alignment did not mean Cambodia could not build close relationships and enhance cooperation with other countries.

He said Cambodia and China have reached a comprehensive strategy partnership, so Cambodia could build this partnership with other countries if those relationships were beneficial to the nation.

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