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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM to visit Sihanouk in Beijing during first official post-poll tour

PM to visit Sihanouk in Beijing during first official post-poll tour

Despite a recent communique from the King Father asking to be left alone for his birthday, Hun Sen says his meeting will go ahead

GOVERNMENT officials have confirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen plans to visit retired King Norodom Sihanouk in Beijing to celebrate the King Father's birthday on October 31.

Hun Sen is scheduled to attend the Asia-Europe meeting in Beijing on October 24 and 25 on his first international tour since he was sworn in as prime minister following his Cambodian People's Party's resounding victory in the July 27 general election.

"I am going to ask to meet the King Father to wish him a happy birthday and celebrate with him and the monks," the prime minister said last week.

Hun Sen's visit will go ahead despite Sihanouk's wish not to celebrate his birthday, which he  expressed in a royal communique dated October 1. 

"If you please, on the occasion of the anniversary of my birth (October 2008 )... please do not send me any letters, cards, wishes [or] gifts," wrote Sihanouk, who will turn 87.

The King Father recently congratulated Hun Sen on his re-election as the country's prime minister in a statement posted on his website, adding that Hun Sen is a leader who has contributed positively to both the national and international community.

Cheam Yeap, a member of the CPP's Central Committee, told the Post that Hun Sen would also take the opportunity to update the King Father - who since August has been in Beijing where he maintains a residence  - about the situation in the country.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy is scheduled to visit the retired monarch during the third week of November.

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