The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said cooperation between Cambodia and Germany had born fruit and that the two countries hoped the bilateral relations will be further enhanced.
The ministry said this after foreign minister Prak Sokhonn received a farewell call by outgoing German ambassador Christian Berger on June 27. The two expressed their shared satisfaction with the productive relationship between the two countries. Highlights of their cooperation included the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent on Bilateral Consultations between the two nation’s foreign ministries and the holding of the 1st bilateral consultations in Phnom Penh earlier this year,” according to ministry spokesman Chum Sounry in a June 27 press statement.
“They expressed hopes that the relationship would be maintained and further enhanced,” he said.
In recognition of Berger’s distinguished and honourable mission as ambassador, Sokhonn conferred on him the highest distinction of the Royal Order of Sahametrey reserved for foreign Dignitaries, the Class of Maha Serey Wathana.
Sounry said that Christian Berger expressed his great pleasure at having the award bestowed on him. Sokhonn thanked the government of Germany for its continued assistance to Cambodia and appreciated the bilateral ties that were formed during Berger’s tenure in Cambodia.
Sokhonn recalled the warm welcome he received from German Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock during his official visit to Germany in February, saying that both sides had contributed to good discussions regional and international issues of common interest.
Yang Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said Germany has so far assisted Cambodia with good government, public relations training and building infrastructure. It also supported the Manufacturing Research and Training Centre.
“It is clear that Germany has helped Cambodia in many ways. The relationship between the two is good,” he said.
He added however, that Germany is a member of the EU, which has taken some strong positions against Cambodia. Despite Germany maintaining good relations with Cambodia, it could not deviate from the common stance of the EU – to set Cambodia on a path to democracy.
“The improvement of democracy and human rights is a factor in enhancing a relationship with any EU nation. Whether they want to or not, all EU countries adopt a common stance on such matters,” Kim Eng continued.
In a separate June 27 meeting with outgoing Turkish ambassador Ayda Unlu, Sokhonn offered his compliments for her contribution to Turkish-Cambodian relations.
She had earlier received the highest distinction of the Royal Order of Sahametrey reserved for foreign Dignitaries, the Class of Maha Serey Wathana from Prime Minister Hun Sen.
According to a ministry press release, the Turkish government had provided significant development assistance to the Kingdom. This included a housing project in Sa’ang district, Kandal province. Turkey would continue to assist with projects related to infrastructure, housing and education.