In commemoration of the US' 247th Independence Day, Ly Thuch, senior minister and first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), applauded the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two nations in 1991, praising their beneficial and mutual cooperation.

Thuch was present at the US Independence Day celebration, orchestrated by US ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy and embassy staff in Phnom Penh on June 29.

"On behalf of the government, I appreciate the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and the US in 1991. These are close relationships and good cooperation in many areas for the common good. The US has played a vital role in Cambodia’s socio-economic development," Thuch penned in a social media post on June 30.

Thuch recalled that in the past 30 years, the US has furnished approximately $3 billion in aid to Cambodia across the sectors of education, health, culture, agriculture, environment, democracy, human rights, and the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines.

Moreover, in combating the spread of the coronavirus, the US has donated over three million doses of Covid-19 vaccines and provided $16 million in aid to Cambodia.

"Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade between the two countries had risen to more than $12 billion in 2022, up 40 per cent from the previous year. The US remains one of Cambodia's largest export markets," Thuch remarked.

He expressed his gratitude for the US' contribution of over $190 million to mine action in Cambodia since 1993, deeming it a substantial contribution to reducing mine casualties in the country. Thuch thanked the US for its continued commitment to strive towards a landmine-free Cambodia by 2025.

The minister highlighted the previous year as a landmark in the enduring bilateral relations, as the leaders of both countries convened for discussions on the sidelines of the 10th Special US-ASEAN Summit in Washington, DC, and the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh last year.

"As the chair of ASEAN in 2022, Cambodia had made all preparations and facilitations for enhancing ASEAN-US Dialogue on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," Thuch said.