Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn has briefed the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of Cambodia’s strict actions against COVID-19, particularly the Kingdom’s handling of the Westerdam cruise ship.
In a press statement issued today, Mr Sokhonn informed the meeting that Cambodia has taken all precautionary measures in accordance with all relevant regulations of the World Health Organization and with close cooperation and collaboration with international health institutions.
He also reaffirmed Cambodia’s commitment to continue standing firmly with the government and people of China in the fight against COVID-19 and, in collaboration with ASEAN, further enhance coordination and cooperation with China to prevent, contain and eventually eliminate this epidemic.
In this regard, he lent his support for China’s proposal to convene the ASEAN-China Special Summit on COVID-19 at an appropriate time.
The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and China took note with satisfaction of the ASEAN-China traditional solidarity and mutual assistance, and their joint emergency responses in times of difficulty, particularly current decisive measures to contain the COVID-19 and to protect regional and global public health security.
The ministry added that during the Special Meeting of ASEAN Coordinating Council on Covid-19, ASEAN Foreign Ministers emphasized the importance of ASEAN to stay strongly united and highly responsive in order to effectively deal with COVID-19.
They also stressed the resolve of ASEAN Member States to prevent the impacts of the disease from affecting the ASEAN Community building process as well as the normal functioning of ASEAN.
During the 5th MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Ministers unanimously reaffirmed their continued support for multilateralism, the UN-centered international system, and the rule-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core.
They also agreed to further enhance dialogues among political parties, strengthen economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties and step up efforts to address non-traditional security issues, including terrorism, cybercrimes, natural disasters, epidemics, human and illicit drug trafficking, and the smuggling and trafficking of firearms and ammunition.
The Ministers welcomed the Mekong River Commission Secretariat as an observer of the MLC Joint Working Group on Water Resources Cooperation and agreed to promote the MLC’s engagement with other regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms based on the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and complementarity.
During the Meeting, Mr Sokhonn stressed that the MLC has been an essential solidarity framework to maintain regional peace and stability and promote shared prosperity in the region.
He also reiterated Cambodia’s commitment to strengthen and deepen the bond of friendship between the Mekong countries and China to materialize the Leaders’ vision in building a “Community of Shared Future of Peace and Prosperity”.
Mr Sokhonn also expressed Cambodia’s full support for China’s new initiative on New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and the realization of the Mekong-Lancang Economic Development Belt, which will further connect the Mekong sub-region as a growth pole to the landmass of China with the primary objective of energizing regional value chains, boosting investments in quality infrastructure and enhancing cultural links and people-to-people contacts across the region.
In this regard, he further encouraged respective MLC government agencies to study the possible synergy between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (2025) and the above-mentioned initiatives.