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Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari sits with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An. Heng Chivoan

India looks east

Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari sits with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An at Phnom Penh’s Peace Palace.

On a three-day official visit, Ansari said India would support several projects under its Mekong Ganga Cooperation program covering the health sector, agriculture and women’s empowerment.

Before a crowd of government officials and university students, the leaders signed two memorandums of understanding covering tourism and investment.

The latter pledge covered mineral resources, agro-industry and information and communication technology.

Ansari said India’s push to engage with Southeast Asia under its Act East Policy provided opportunities as Cambodia prepared for the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community.

‘We hope to work with our Cambodian partners to realise this potential,’ Ansari said. Behind closed doors, Hun Sen and Ansari also discussed controversial plans by a developer to build what some consider to be a replica of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat in India, said the premier’s spokesman Eang Sophalleth, before Ansari’s scheduled visit to the ancient temples today.

Ansari reassured his counterpart that ’there is no other Angkor Wat’, Sophalleth said.

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