The Indian government is providing $1.5 million worth of demining equipment for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ peacekeeping operation.
A signing ceremony was presided over yesterday by Defence Minister General Tea Banh. The agreements were signed by Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Manika Jain and Defence Ministry’s Permanent Secretary of State General Neang Phat.
At the event, Gen Banh said one of the challenges the Kingdom faces is not having enough demining equipment for its peacekeeping operations and the need to upgrade the Blue Helmets’ capability and capacity.
“This is a very humanitarian endeavour. Cambodia has been trying to help in peacekeeping efforts around the world and India is very active in helping us achieve this objective,” he said. “I hope that with the technical assistance and equipment from India, we will be able to better complete our missions.”
Gen Banh said that the two countries’ continued cooperation, such as in language and capacity training, are also very important in increasing the Cambodian armed forces’ capacity to partake in humanitarian missions.
“The cooperation between our two countries does not only happen inside Cambodia but in areas of operation where our contingents are stationed next to each other,” he added.
Ambassador Manika said at the event that India is committed to expanding and deepening the countries’ cooperation, especially in defence-related activities and also in peacekeeping operations.
She said when the Indian defence minister visited the Kingdom in 2018, the two sides chalked out a plan of action and the two countries are trying to work on it.
“Some of the activities which were committed at that time have already rolled out. An example is today’s signing of this agreement of the grant of $1.5 million for demining,” Ambassador Manika said.
“We are also looking into the request of providing more sniffer dogs. We had provided earlier 16 sniffer dogs [in 2016] and we are looking forward to providing some more,” she added.
She said the Indian government is also deeply committed in continuing its human resource development and training programmes for peacekeeping forces, language training, or any other training – whether its for naval, air force or armed forces personnel –under The India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) in India.
In its statement yesterday, the embassy said bilateral defence cooperation between India and the Kingdom has deepened.
It said that during the Indian defence minister’s visit to the Kingdom, several new initiatives to strengthen defence cooperation were also established.
The embassy added that bilateral national defence participation includes the training of officers, exchange of experts, cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, exchange of assistance in demining operations and regular naval ship visits.
“This demining assistance continues to be a key point of cooperation between the two countries. The current grant of $1.5 million from the Government of India is part of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ demining capacity enhancement,” the statement said.