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Cambodia, Croatia sign MoU boosting relations

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Foreign ministry secretary of state Chem Widhya and Croatian ambassador Ivan Velimir Starcevic. MFAIC

Cambodia, Croatia sign MoU boosting relations

Cambodia and Croatia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of bilateral consultations to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

The MoU was signed at a meeting between Chem Widhya, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ivan Velimir Starcevic, the new ambassador of Croatia, at the ministry’s headquarters in Phnom Penh on May 4.

“Both sides signed the MoU on the establishment of increased consultations to further promote the closer cooperation between the two countries,” the ministry said in a May 4 social media post.

Before the meeting, Starcevic presented his letters of credence to King Norodom Sihamoni.

According to Luy David, also the ministry’s secretary of state, the meeting had gone well.

“We exchanged views on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. Ambassador Starcevic, who has been involved in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process for some time, extended his warm congratulations to Cambodia for its successful chairmanship of ASEM13,” he said in a social media post.

On July 7-9, 2021, Cambodia co-chaired the EU to ASEM senior officials’ meeting via a video conference attended by senior officials from 51 ASEM partner countries and representatives from the EU, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the Asia-Europe Foundation.

On May 5, Starcevic also met with Senate president Say Chhum.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said the signing of the MoU is part of the practice of Cambodia’s diplomatic diversification.

He said diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Croatia do not appear to be unique and are more of a normal relationship, noting that the two have yet to establish an embassy in each other’s country.

He said the more the government expands ties with other countries, the better for Cambodia to diversify its diplomacy.

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