Cambodia’s foreign ministry and the French embassy in Phnom Penh have signed a "Joint Declaration of Intent on the Establishment of the Mechanism of Bilateral Political Consultations" between the foreign ministries of the two countries.

The signing ceremony was held on January 23 in the presence of Chem Widhya, secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and French ambassador Jacques Pellet.

“This mechanism aims to reinforce cooperation between the two countries based on a long-term friendship and, in particular, between the two ministries in their capacities as national coordinators,” the ministry said in a social media post.

According to the embassy, the first consultations will take place on February 6 in Phnom Penh.

“This is another important step in strengthening the relationship between France and Cambodia,” it said.

The signing ceremony took place one day before Olivier Becht – Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs – is scheduled to begin a two-day visit to Cambodia on January 24-25 to strengthen economic cooperation between the two nations.

The French embassy said in a January 20 press release that the visit is in line with France's increased commitment to ASEAN, as indicated in 2022 by the participation of President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 Summit in Bali and the APEC Summit in Bangkok.

Pellet said that relations between France and Cambodia were long-established and trustworthy and had taken root through a long history of Francophonie.

He added that the relations are reflected by the unwavering cooperation between the two countries now and in the future.

He said Cambodia and France have addressed challenging problems, focusing mainly on human resources training, sustainable development in response to climate change, protecting biodiversity and the role of culture and promoting Cambodia's rich heritage.

“The relations between our countries are sustained by a French community that is active and integrated here. I pay compliments to the community. When I met the French community, I observed that these French men and women are active and love Cambodia, the culture of Cambodia and are very happy to live in Cambodia,” he said.