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PM to attend Asean Summit in Bangkok

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Suchart Tancharoen, president of Thailand’s National Assembly, greets National Assembly second vice president Khuon Sudary in Bangkok. National Assembly

Prime Minister Hun Sen will soon follow a National Assembly delegation led by second vice president Khuon Sudary to attend the Asean Summit in Bangkok.

Ms Sudary left the Kingdom prior to Mr Hun Sen to attend the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Leaders Interface for three days, while Mr Hun Sen will attend the two-day Asean Summit.

The 34th Asean Summit will be held from Saturday to Sunday, while the AIPA Leaders’ Interface will take place from today until Sunday.

According to a statement by the National Assembly yesterday, Ms Sudary’s delegation was invited by Thai National Assembly president Chuan Leekpai, who chaired the AIPA from 2018 to this year.

It said Ms Sudary will give a keynote speech that focuses on the challenges faced by the AIPA and Asean. She will also share her perspectives on how to solve the challenges.

“Her Excellency Khuon Sudary also has courtesy calls and business meetings with her host counterpart and other Asean countries,” it said, noting that bilateral meetings will focus on sharing development, mutual respect, equal sovereignty, maintaining peace and political stability in the region and world.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Hun Sen is expected to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also the current chair of Asean and invited Mr Hun Sen.

It said Mr Hun Sen is to be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak, Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron, other government officials and business leaders from the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce.

It noted that this year’s summit theme is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” and the discussions will focus on promoting cooperation and strengthening consensus among Asean member states with the goal of addressing new global challenges.

“The summit will also explore ways on how to bring Asean to a new height for sustainability and seamless connectivity,” it said, adding that Mr Hun Sen will join a series of meetings and functions, such as the Asean Leader’s Interface with Representatives of Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Asean Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of Asean Business Advisory Council and the Asean Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of Asean Youth.

Additionally, it said that Mr Sokhonn is expected to participate in the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the 19th Asean Political-Security Community Council Meeting and the 23rd Asean Coordinating Council Meeting, which are to be held from Friday to Saturday.

“It is expected that the outcomes of the 34th Asean Summit will reflect Asean’s effort to advance the community-building process, and to promote Asean Partnership for Sustainable Development, among others, in order to realise enduring peace, stability and prosperity in the region for the benefit of the people of Asean,” it said.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said Asean Summit is an opportunity for Cambodia to hold talks with other member states.

“Cambodia is equal to other countries in the region,” Mr Phea said. “Normally, on the sideline [meetings] of Asean Summit, Cambodia takes the opportunity to [hold] bilateral meetings with other members on various issues.”

He noted that Asean is a regional organisation that has the most meetings every year, adding that Asean was called “talking shop” by observers.

“Asean has a lot of challenges to solve together. Asean has more discussions than actual results,” Mr Phea said. “Asean has more than 700 kinds of meetings.”

“Asean has two important principles: one is non-interference towards a member’s internal affairs, which could cause sensitive issues to not be resolved,” he added. “Most of the discussions are done to make proposals, sometimes there is no joint statement on issues. Second, all decisions must be made in consensus.”

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