Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn yesterday led a delegation to attend the four-day Asean-South Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan after Prime Minister Hun Sen cancelled his attendance because his mother-in-law is seriously ill.
Mr Hun Sen was expected to attend the sumitt until Wednesday and hold a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss bilateral cooperation.
However, Mr Hun Sen announced on Saturday that he could not go because his wife’s mother is in critical condition.
CPP Spokesman Sok Eysan said Mr Hun Sen’s mother-in-law Bun Siengly, who is in her 90s, was hospitalised with a serious condition.
Cambodian Red Cross Cabinet Chief Men Neary Sopheak said both Mr Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany, president of the CRC, are now taking care of Ms Siengly.
In a post on his Facebook page, Mr Hun Sen asked for understanding from Mr Moon for his absence. He also expressed regret that he could not attend other sideline meetings in South Korea.
“I must fill my duty as a son-in-law. I have no other choice besides seeking the understanding of Korean President Moon Jae-in and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and leaders of countries within Asean for missing these important meetings,” he said.
“I also ask for understanding from Cambodian people, students, and workers who have prepared to meet me for dinner on November 24,” he added.
Mr Hun Sen assigned Mr Sokhonn to represent him at the meetings.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan said it is a difficult time for Mr Hun Sen.
“At the summit, Minister Prak Sokhonn will act as both Prime Minster and Foreign Affairs Minister,” he added.