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Kingdom seeks more German demining aid

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
German Ambassador Ingo Karsten meets with Prime Minister Hun Sen. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday urged Germany to continue supporting the Kingdom’s efforts to become mine-free by contributing more funds for demining work.

Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to the Prime Minister, said that during a meeting with outgoing German Ambassador to Cambodia Ingo Karsten at the Peace Palace, Mr Hun Sen expressed his gratitude to Germany for its support by providing funds for mine clearance in the Kingdom which contributes towards saving lives.

“The German government and people have always supported Cambodia by assisting the demining industry through the Halo Trust demining organisation,” he said. “This has helped to reduce threats posed to people’s lives and also cleared land for their use.”

Mr Sophalleth noted Mr Hun Sen requested Mr Karsten to help lobby the German government to keep supporting the Kingdom, especially by funding demining operations.

He said Mr Hun Sen also praised Mr Karsten for his role in boosting bilateral cooperation, noting that both countries have never interfered in each other’s affairs.

“The German government has contributed towards strengthening democracy, promoting rural development and boosting ties in education, culture and many other sectors, which has proven its generous and good relationship with Cambodia,” Mr Sophalleth quoted Mr Hun Sen as telling Mr Karsten.

Mr Sophalleth said that during the meeting, Mr Karsten acknowledged the Kingdom’s economic, social and political growth.

“He [Mr Karsten] said he is glad to witness the strong development of the country and he is proud to have taken part in helping the country to develop,” he said. “Mr Karsten also told Mr Hun Sen that the recent reforms in the investment and trade sectors have attracted German investors who are happy to do business in Cambodia.”

Ly Thuch, first vice president of Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, yesterday said the German Federal Foreign office has been supporting Cambodia since 2016.

“The German government is a long term partner for Cambodia regarding mine clearance,” he said. “I’m grateful for their support in helping Cambodian people to live safely on demined land.”

According to a report, Germany has provided over $5 million and 55 mine clearance teams through the Halo Trust to support humanitarian demining in Cambodia since 2016.

The report noted German support has helped clear a total of 6,868,151 square metres while 2,991 AP mines, 118 AT mines, and 3,192 ERW were destroyed.

The Kingdom is aiming to be mine-free by 2025. Last April, Cambodian Mine Action Centre director-general Heng Ratana said CMAC has met 90 percent of its quarterly demining target.

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