King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday returned to the Kingdom following a four-day trip to France to mark the success of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor over the last 25 years.
At Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday, the King was received by Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate president Say Chhum, National Assembly president Heng Samrin, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, Defence Minister General Tea Banh and other senior government officials as well as royal family members.
The Apsara Authority noted in a Facebook post on Friday that King Sihamoni gave a keynote speech at the event in Paris highlighting Cambodia’s participation and success in the conservation work at Angkor Archeological Park.
Apsara Authority director-general Hang Peou also gave a presentation on ICC-Angkor’s work on conservation and sustainable development at the Angkor site over the past 25 years while at the event in Paris.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said the presence of the King in Paris reflected Cambodia’s commitment to ICC-Angkor affairs.
“ICC-Angkor placed great importance on Cambodian heritage and culture,” Mr Phea said. “The presence of the King at the event is a reflection of how His Majesty places great attention on the issue. It is also a reflection of the good relations between Cambodia and France, even though the King’s attendance is outside the framework of a state visit.”
“The trip to France will be one for the history books,” he added.
ICC-Angkor was established in 1993. Co-chaired by France and Japan, ICC-Angkor is an international coordinating mechanism that oversees all assistance provided by different countries and organisations for the safeguarding and development of the historic site of Angkor.
The creation of the ICC-Angkor was one of the conditions given by the World Heritage Committee to accept the Angkor Site on the Unesco World Heritage List.