The Foreign Affairs Ministry has issued a statement highlighting Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn’s participation during the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bangkok last week.
According to the statement, dated August 1, Mr Sokhonn led a delegation to attend the meeting, which was themed ‘Advancing Partnership for Sustainability’, as well as other meetings.
These meetings include the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Interface with the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights; the Meeting of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Commission; the Asean Post Ministerial Conferences with all 10 dialogue partners; and the 20th Asean Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
According to a ministry statement, ministers at the AMM underlined the need to further strengthen cooperation and advance partnership to ensure sustainability in all dimensions with a view to secure peace, security, stability and prosperity at a time of rapid changes and uncertainties in the world.
“In his [speech], HE Prak Sokhonn underlined that Asean should seek ways to mobilise more resources from interested external partners to implement the projects under MPAC [Master Plan for Asean Connectivity] 2025,” it said.
“HE Prak Sokhonn noted the positive progress made and its impactful effects on narrowing the development gap within and among the Asean member states. He also further stressed the need to produce a high-quality IAI Work Plan IV that would continue to deepen Asean integration,” it added.
During the meeting of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Commission, Mr Sokhonn underlined that it is vital to preserve the region as a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction.
Mr Sokhonn also announced that this year, the Asean Regional Mine Action Centre plans to implement five main activities in collaboration with local stakeholders in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
In a joint communiqué released last week, Asean reaffirmed the role of Armac as a centre of excellence in encouraging efforts to address the issue of explosive remnants of war for its member states and welcomed the convening of the Regional Seminar on Full and Effective Operationalisation of Armac in Siem Reap province in April.
“We noted the ongoing discussion on the financial sustainability of Armac after the year 2020,” the joint communiqué said.
On his official Facebook page, Mr Sokhonn said he held bilateral meetings on the sidelines, including with Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Minster Pham Binh Minh and Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Toro Kono.
He added that he also met with Federica Mogherini, vice-president of the European Commission, and China’s State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi.
According to a statement by the ministry, Mr Sokhonn and Mr Wang in the bilateral meeting vowed to boost cooperation between the two countries.
“They had a fruitful discussion on bilateral cooperation in various fields, particularly trade, investment, development and tourism, and other issues under the Asean framework,” the statement said.
According to a statement from China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Wang in the meeting said China and Cambodia enjoy a profound traditional friendship and have always understood and supported each other.
“We are willing to work with the Cambodian side to keep frequent high-level exchanges and actively push forward the cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative,” the statement said. “Some media deliberately defamed the China-Cambodia cooperation, which is doomed to failure in the light of facts.”
The statement further noted that Mr Sokhonn responded by expressing gratitude for China’s assistance to Cambodia’s social and economic development as well as its support for Cambodia in choosing its development path independently.
“The Cambodian side is willing to join hands with the Chinese side to promote the Asean Foreign Ministers Meetings to focus on cooperation and development, build consensus and deliver positive messages to the outside world,” it added.