Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia, Australia discuss strengthening bilateral ties

Cambodia, Australia discuss strengthening bilateral ties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn (left) and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne. Twitter

Cambodia, Australia discuss strengthening bilateral ties

Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening relations with Cambodia in the fight against Covid-19 as the Kingdom will chair ASEAN in 2022.

The pledge was made during a phone conservation between Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne.

“Marise Payne reiterated Australia’s commitment to enhance cooperation with Cambodia and ASEAN in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The two ministers discussed in depth enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation,” the Cambodian foreign ministry said in a press release on July 7.

Payne also confirmed in a Facebook post on July 7 that she spoke with Sokhonn about shared concerns regarding the crisis in Myanmar and the challenges posed by Covid-19.

“I emphasised Australia’s support for ASEAN and its Myanmar response and we discussed the urgent need for progress on ASEAN’s five points of consensus,” she said.

Australia supports Cambodia’s Covid-19 response and recovery and will provide $35.7 million to assist in procuring and delivering vaccines. Australia also has a long-standing interest in Cambodia’s development and democracy.

“I look forward to working closely with Minister Prak Sokhonn in the lead-up to Cambodia taking on the ASEAN 2022 chair,” she said.

According to the foreign ministry, Payne also emphasised Australia’s wish to strengthen the ASEAN-Australia partnership and reaffirmed continued support for ASEAN’s importance in regional architecture and integration.

Sokhonn thanked Australia for contributing to Cambodia’s socio-economic development at the bilateral, regional and sub-regional levels.

He said Australia has provided timely support to Cambodia and ASEAN in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Australia’s growing engagement with ASEAN will further contribute to economic growth, regional integration and narrowing the development gap within the region,” he said.

The minister reiterated Cambodia’s determination to achieve good results as ASEAN chair.

He shared some of the priorities for next year, which include more progress in implementing ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery initiatives and regional integration in line with ASEAN Community Vision.

Sokhonn reiterated Cambodia’s readiness to work with other ASEAN member states and partners to coordinate Myanmar’s return to the path of democratic transition and normalcy.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on July 8 that Australia’s foreign policy toward Cambodia had not changed much despite some changes to international situations. In relation to Cambodia, Australia’s political position was not very different to the US.

He said that recently Australia’s diplomacy seemed softer and it has expressed goodwill to strengthen bilateral relations.

“For example, the fight against Covid-19, human rights and democracy – mostly [Australia] makes institutional rather than critical contributions.

“However, as Cambodia will chair ASEAN next year, the country will have an important role to play. We have seen other countries expressing goodwill to strengthen the bonds of friendship with Cambodia too,” he noted.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old