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Indian warship docks in Sihanoukville

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
Indian warship sees a gathering of military officials. KT/ Mai Vireak

An Indian Navy warship has dropped anchor in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Harbour on a three-day goodwill visit meant to boost bilateral ties between Cambodia and India.

The ship is from the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet.

Their arrival Friday followed a spike in international naval activity in Cambodian waters. The INS Kadmatt, an anti-submarine corvette, has been deployed since September, led by Commander Nithin Cariappa.

A dinner reception was held onboard the INS Kamorta on Friday night attended by Admiral Tea Vinh, Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Navy, Indian diplomatic officials in Cambodia, foreign military attachés and other dignitaries.

During the reception, Commander Cariappa said the visit of the Indian navy ship to Cambodia is part of a ceremony to commemorate 25 years of India-ASEAN dialogue.

“So, to celebrate, we are visiting Cambodia and spreading goodwill to enhance navy to navy bonds with Cambodia,” he said. “It is good to visit Cambodia. There is a real historical bond between Cambodia and India, and we hope to continue that trend.”

He said his navy ship brought 170 crew members to Cambodia for training exercises and cooperation between both country’s navy forces before sailing on to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Admiral Vinh said cooperation between Cambodia and India is moving forward, especially in exchanging experiences with each other and strengthening maritime security in the region.

“Since 2003, there have been 15 Indian Navy ships that have docked to visit Cambodia for goodwill in a bid to boost bilateral ties between the two nations,” he said.

According to the Indian embassy in Cambodia, the two nations first established diplomatic relations in the 1950s, which were later suspended during the Khmer Rouge regime. Cooperation resumed in 1981 after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

The volume of India-Cambodia trade in 2014-2015 was approximately $160 million, a four percent increase from 2013-2014.

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